Small manufacturers must not underestimate the impact of cyber attacks
Small manufacturing businesses are underestimating the impact a cyber attack could have on their reputation and must take steps to protect it, according to the findings of the Small Business Reputation and the Cyber Risk report, launched today by the Government’s Cyber Streetwise campaign and KPMG.
Despite the majority (96%) of small manufacturing businesses surveyed thinking about their company’s reputation frequently or all the time, they aren’t considering how a breach could affect it. In fact just 30% of those surveyed that haven’t experienced a breach say the potential damage a cyber breach could cause is an “important” consideration.
However 83% of consumers surveyed are now concerned about which businesses have access to their data and whether it’s safe, and over half (58%) say that a cyber breach would discourage them from using a business in the future.
This concern is even greater in the supply chain and recently published KPMG Supply Chain research supports this. 86% of procurement departments would consider removing a supplier from their roster due to a breach, highlighting that an attack can have serious short and long term implications. 94% of procurement managers say that cyber security standards are important when awarding a project to an SME supplier.
This is reflected by the fact that the vast majority (97%) of small manufacturing businesses surveyed who have experienced a breach felt the attack impacted their reputation in some way, with 33% of those having been breached reporting brand damage, 24% reporting a loss of clients and 19% receiving negative reviews on social media.
And the impact has been long lasting. Three in ten of those surveyed have been unable to grow in line with previous expectations, and a third said it took over six months for the business to get back on track. Quality of service is also at risk; those who experienced a cyber breach found it impacted the business’ ability to operate (97%) and caused customer delays (27%).
The lack of concern around potential reputation damage may be explained by the fact that many small manufacturing businesses don’t realise the value of their data. The majority (97%) hold data in their IT systems, yet up to 27% of those surveyed don’t consider this data to be commercially sensitive. And despite the fact that customer, financial and IP data can be shared with competitors if a company is attacked, just a third (34%) of small manufacturing businesses said they would be immediately concerned about competitors gaining advantage if they were breached.
The report also reveals that more than a third of small manufacturing businesses (37%) don’t think they will be a target for an attack, despite the majority of consumers worrying about the security of their data, especially in the hands of small businesses.
Danny Lawrence, National Police Chiefs’ Council PROTECT Co-ordinator for Cyber Crime, comments: “A cyber attack may prove so serious that it impairs an organisation’s ability to operate and even function longer term. Doing nothing can no longer be an option - SMEs place their reputation and existence on the line if they fail to take action. I would encourage all SMEs to consider their cyber security, seek out support from resources available and consider making this piece of work a critical part of their business strategies in 2016.”
George Quigley, a partner in KPMG’s cyber security practice, comments: “Small businesses know that their reputation is critical to their success but it seems that many haven’t considered quite how many factors can affect it. Every piece of data in a business can be of interest to a cyber criminal – even if the business itself may not realise it – and with SMEs a key target for this very reason - it’s vital to take steps to protect your data, and with it the trust of your customers and ultimately your reputation.”
Sandra Dexter, Vice-Chairman for the Federation of Small Businesses, comments:
“Small businesses need simple, straightforward cyber security advice like that provided by Cyber Streetwise. All small firms should now be aware of the risks, and take steps to protect themselves against the escalating level of cyber crime. Cyber breaches can happen to any business, any size and the repercussions should not be underestimated, leading to damaged reputations, hindered growth and in the worst cases, entrepreneurs being put out of business. Building the resilience of small businesses to cyber crime is important and should be high on all business owners’ list of priorities.”
Cyber Streetwise is encouraging small businesses and consumers across the UK to do three simple things to improve their online security and protect themselves from cyber crime:
- Make your passwords stronger with three random words
- Install security software on all devices
- Always download the latest software update
Siemens: Providing the First Industrial 5G Router
Across a number of industry sectors, there’s a growing need for both local wireless connectivity and remote access to machines and plants. In both of these cases, communication is, more often than not, over a long distance. Public wireless data networks can be used to enable this connectivity, both nationally and internationally, which makes the new 5G network mainframe an absolutely vital element of remote access and remote servicing solutions as we move into the interconnected age.
Siemens Enables 5G IIoT
The eagerly awaited Scalance MUM856-1, Siemens’ very first industrial 5G router, is officially available to organisations. The device has the ability to connect all local industrial applications to the public 5G, 4G (LTE), and 3G (UMTS) mobile wireless networks ─ allowing companies to embrace the long-awaited Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT).
The router can be used to remotely monitor and service plants, machines, as well as control elements and other industrial devices via a public 5G network ─ flexibly and with high data rates. Something that has been in incredibly high demand after being teased by the leading network providers for years.
Scalance MUM856-1 at a Glance
- Scalance MUM856-1 connects local industrial applications to public 5G, 4G, and 3G mobile wireless networks
- The router supports future-oriented applications such as remote access via public 5G networks or the connection of mobile devices such as automated guided vehicles in industry
- A robust version in IP65 housing for use outside the control cabinet
- Prototypes of Siemens 5G infrastructure for private networks already in use at several sites
“To ensure the powerful connection of Ethernet-based subnetworks and automation devices, the Scalance MUM856-1 supports Release 15 of the 5G standard. The device offers high bandwidths of up to 1000 Mbps for the downlink and up to 500 Mbps for the uplink – providing high data rates for data-intensive applications such as the remote implementation of firmware updates. Thanks to IPv6 support, the devices can also be implemented in modern communication networks.
Various security functions are included to monitor data traffic and protect against unauthorised access: for example, an integrated firewall and authentication of communication devices and encryption of data transmission via VPN. If there is no available 5G network, the device switches automatically to 4G or 3G networks. The first release version of the router has an EU radio license; other versions with different licenses are in preparation. With the Sinema Remote Connect management platform for VPN connections, users can access remote plants or machines easily and securely – even if they are integrated in other networks. The software also offers easy management and autoconfiguration of the devices,” Siemens said.
Preparing for a 5G-oriented Future
Siemens has announced that the new router can also be integrated into private 5G networks. This means that the Scalance MUM856-1 is, essentially, future-proofed when it comes to 5G adaptability; it supports future-oriented applications, including ‘mobile robots in manufacturing, autonomous vehicles in logistics or augmented reality applications for service technicians.’
And, for use on sites where conditions are a little harsher, Siemens has given the router robust IP65 housing ─ it’s “dust tight”, waterproof, and immersion-proofed.
The first release version of the router has an EU radio license; other versions with different licenses are in preparation. “With the Sinema Remote Connect management platform for VPN connections, users can access remote plants or machines easily and securely – even if they are integrated in other networks. The software also offers easy management and auto-configuration of the devices,” Siemens added.