Nearly half of UK manufacturers have been hit by a cyber security incident, according to new research from the trade group EEF.

Of those surveyed, 48 per cent of UK manufacturers said they have at some time been subject to a cyber security incident. This has resulted in financial loss or disruption to the effected businesses. Thus, the report calls for greater focus on security throughout the sector.

EEF’s security expert, Oliver Welch explained that manufacturers might not even be aware that their systems had been targeted or had fallen victim to an attack, saying:

“There’s evidence out there that there is quite a lot of malware that is designed to sit in the background, not really do very much, while the person infected doesn’t even know that it is happening.”

Cyber attackers have the potential to do significant damage to the manufacturing sector if left unchecked. This is why it is important for businesses to ensure sufficient measures are put into place.

While 91% of the nearly 170 UK manufacturing businesses polled are investing in digital technologies, 35% consider that cyber vulnerability is inhibiting them from doing so fully.

“This suggests that opportunities are being missed and some businesses risk falling behind in the race to digitise. The result must not be that the UK falls away from the vanguard of manufacturing excellence” the report said.

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