BlackBerry/Make UK research finds UK manufacturing sector at risk, with nearly half of them suffering a cyberattack in the last 12 months

LONDON, December 5, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Nearly half of Great Britain manufacturers (42%) have been victims of cybercrime in the last 12 months according to a new study, Cybersecurity: Made in UK, released today by Make UK, the Manufacturers Organization and BlackBerry Limited. Over a quarter of respondents (26%) reported significant financial loss following an attack, with losses ranging from £50,000 to £250,000.

As businesses adopt more digital technologies, their exposure to cybersecurity risks increases. Some 95% say cybersecurity measures are necessary for their business, while two-thirds say the importance of cybersecurity has increased over the past 12 months. Worryingly, the majority (54%) decided not to take any further cybersecurity measures despite adopting new technologies to boost production.

UK manufacturers face a battery of cybersecurity risks, ranging from simple employee error to complex targeted attacks. The top three cybersecurity vulnerabilities were identified as maintaining legacy IT (45%), lack of cyber skills within the company (38%), and access to third parties for monitoring and maintenance (33%). The research also found that production shutdowns were the most common result of a cyberattack (65%), with reputational damage ranking second (43%).

Industrial Internet of Things (IoT) adoption is found to be the top driver of cybersecurity adoption for one in three organizations (30%). These new IoT processes, such as automated sensors that improve efficiency, are at the heart of manufacturing production and are considered business-critical functions. However, just over a third (37%) say concerns about cyber vulnerability have prevented the introduction of new connected technologies into their organization, hampering potential productivity gains and hampering business growth.

Targeted attacks are the most common, with small businesses often the most vulnerable, but many of them don’t offer any cybersecurity training to their staff. 62% of manufacturers now have a formal cybersecurity incident procedure in place, up 11% from last year’s figures, with the same number assigning a senior manager responsibility for cybersecurity. More than half (58%) passed this responsibility to the board of directors.

Stephen PhipsonCEO of Make UK, the organization of manufacturers, said: “Digitalisation is revolutionizing modern manufacturing and is becoming increasingly important for increasing efficiency in this incredibly challenging inflationary environment. While cost remains the biggest barrier to companies installing proper cyber protection, the need for “increasing the use of the latest technologies makes mounting an appropriate defense against cyber threats essential. No business can afford to ignore this issue and while the increased awareness in the industry is encouraging, there is still much to do. Failing to do this could cost the manufacturing industry billions of pounds and put thousands of jobs at risk. Every business is vulnerable and every business must take the necessary steps to protect themselves properly.”

The cyber defense makeup in UK industry is wide – with 89% of companies investing heavily in anti-virus software and firewalls to secure internet connections. Threats from Russia and China are now seen as the top cybersecurity challenge for UK manufacturers (75%).

Keiron HolyomeUK Vice President, Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa at BlackBerry said: “Clearly, the UK manufacturing industry is acutely aware of the threat posed by cybercrime. With attacks increasingly targeting operational infrastructure at the heart of major economies, the biggest problem is that the majority of manufacturers don’t know maybe not that they’ve already been compromised.In our experience, it’s possible, and even likely, for malware to be present in legacy infrastructure, just waiting for the right moment to strike. ‘today aren’t deterred by outdated antivirus and firewall protection; it’s time for industry leadership to step in the big guns of preemptive cybersecurity to protect against all vulnerabilities, from accidental internal breaches to very real threat of nation-state attacks.”

More details can be found in the report, Cybersecurity: Made in UKavailable for free download at https://www.makeuk.org/home/insights/reports/2022/12/01/cyber-security-in-manufacturing.

About Make UK

Make UK, the organization of manufacturers, is the representative voice of British industry, with offices in London, Brusselseach English region and Wales.

Collectively, we represent 20,000 companies of all sizes, from start-ups to multinationals, in engineering, manufacturing, technology and the broader industrial sector. We directly represent over 5,000 Make UK member companies. Everything we do – from providing essential business support and training to promoting manufacturing in the UK and EU – is designed to help UK manufacturers compete, to innovate and grow.

From HR and labor law, health and safety to environmental and productivity improvement, our guidance, expertise and influence keeps businesses safe, compliant and forward-looking .

About BlackBerry

BlackBerry (NYSE: BB; TSX: BB) provides intelligent security software and services to businesses and governments around the world. The company secures more than 500M endpoints, including 215M Vehicles. Situated at Waterloo, Ontario, the company leverages AI and machine learning to deliver innovative solutions in the areas of cybersecurity, security and data privacy solutions, and is a leader in the areas of endpoint security , endpoint management, encryption and embedded systems. BlackBerry’s vision is clear: to deliver a connected future you can trust.

Blackberry. Smart security. Everywhere.

For more information, visit BlackBerry.com and follow @BlackBerry.

Trademarks including but not limited to BLACKBERRY and EMBLEM Design are trademarks or registered trademarks of BlackBerry Limited, and the exclusive rights in such trademarks are expressly reserved. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. BlackBerry is not responsible for third party products or services.

Media contacts:

Doing relations with the British media
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BlackBerry Media Relations
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SOURCE BlackBerry Limited

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