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UK manufacturing industry facing more attacks than ever

manufacturing
(Image credit: Image Credit: Firma V / Shutterstock)

The Covid-19 pandemic has created a perfect cybersecurity storm for the UK manufacturing industry, a new report from Keeper Security and the Ponemon Institute claims.

The lockdown forced manufacturers to make a number of decisions, all of which played right into the hands of cybercriminals. Manufacturers laid off or furloughed as much of the workforce as possible, sent the rest to work from home and rushed to set up remote working systems.

Security took the back seat during this process, with significant consequences. More than half (58 percent) of manufacturing firms experienced a cyberattack in 2020, with more than a third (37 percent) saying the conditions created through Covid-19 made these attacks possible.

More than half (55 percent) had sensitive information about employees and customers stolen, leading to significant fines from the ICO. Even though in most cases (57 percent) cybercriminals were to blame, a significant portion of the incidents (38 percent) also came about as a result of negligent employees and contractors.

“The events of the last year have hit the manufacturing sector hard, with business owners scrambling to preserve jobs and establish a route through ever-changing restrictions and world-wide challenges to their ability to succeed," said Darren Guccione, CEO and Co-Founder of Keeper Security.

"Inundated with a series of critical business challenges, it has been understandably hard for manufacturers to stay on top of risks that haven’t yet created tangible damage."

Despite laying most of the blame on Covid-19, the fact is that many manufacturers have had poor cybersecurity practices for a number of years. Almost half (44 percent) of the report’s respondents admitted they did not have sufficiently rigorous cybersecurity systems set up before the pandemic.