Plant & Works Engineering
Survey reveals soft approach to cyber security
Published:  11 May, 2017

The government’s Cyber Security Breaches Survey: 2017, released recently, demonstrates UK business’ soft approach when it comes to cyber-attack vulnerability. According to the report, only 34% of manufacturing executives think their core staff take cyber security seriously in their day-to-day work. Across other business sectors, this figure stands at over three quarters (76%).

A headlong leap into poorly-defined IoT projects and BYOD working practices may be putting more firms in danger of an attack, according to systems integrator World Wide Technology. The recent report shows that 46% of UK businesses are exposed to the security risks of BYOD. Manufacturers need to adapt to the new security demands of an increasingly connected world.

Mike McGlynn, vice president, security solutions at World Wide Technology commented: “The range of devices being exposed to the internet are usually not known for having mature security software, and are often in a vulnerable state. Even their manufacturers may not be in a position to regularly patch software in order to protect against online threats, let alone the enterprises that adopt these devices.

“The device management task involved in some IoT projects is on a scale unlike anything most manufacturer’s networks have tackled so far.

“Currently, most device management applications are designed for tablets and smartphones which have much more predictable behaviour. They now suddenly have to deal with the number and variety of devices being connected: a smart building initiative, which uses sensors in one fixed location, creates a very different security challenge than a global supply chain project.

“Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) has certainly proved a challenge for many organisations, but the predicted explosion of connected devices – to reach 20.8 billion globally by 2020 – means that manufacturing firms must take a holistic approach to cybersecurity which prepares them to resist attacks at the endpoint, network, cloud, and application layers.”