A new report has highlighted a major risk posed by cyber criminals to manufacturing firms.

The cybersecurity report, released by EEF, the manufacturers’ organisation and insurance group AIG found almost half of firms in the sector in the UK have sustained a cyber-attack with many of them reporting losses as a result.

Willis Insurance and Risk Management Risks Client Director Leslie Dick said the survey provided “concerning reading” for the sector, which is ranked third behind government systems and finance in terms of cybercrime vulnerability.

The survey, conducted by The Royal United Services Institute (RUSI), found that 41% of firms do not believe they have access to enough information to even assess their true cyber risk.

In addition, 45% feel that they do not have the right tools at their disposal. In fact, according to the study, 48% of manufacturers reported having been subject to cyber-attack – about half of which cited accompanying losses.

The report also noted a “worryingly large” 12% of those surveyed who admitted not having technical or managerial processes in place to either assess or mitigate risks.

It also revealed that two-thirds of manufacturers do not have dedicated cyber insurance policies.

Leslie added:

“The manufacturing sector, like many other industries is severely under protected in terms of cyber insurance.

“This is concerning because of the potentially huge costs of sustaining a breach of digital systems. This can include loss of sensitive customer data, a prolonged system outage holding back the fulfillment of work orders, not to mention the damage to the affected firm’s reputation.”

A UK government survey put the average cost of attacks to small businesses at between £65,00 and £115,000 while for larger firms, the cost is typically between £600,000 and £1.15m.

For more information, contact Leslie Dick on 028 9032 9042 or visit www.willisinsurance.co.uk.

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