Cyber threats need to become a board-level issue

By Rick Pendrous

- Last updated on GMT

Wilkins: 'The cyber threat has been rising steadily in recent years'
Wilkins: 'The cyber threat has been rising steadily in recent years'

Related tags Industry Automation Risk

In response to rising concerns about the risk of cyber attacks, industrial automation components supplier European Automation has published an industry report about the growing importance of information security.

The report looks at where threats come from, how they can be avoided and the need to raise the debate about information security to board level. It is available for download on European Automation’s website.

2014 was a year of high profile cyber attacks across the world. In the UK alone, 81% of large corporations and 60% of businesses reported they had a breach in cyber security.

Worrying trend

Reacting to this worrying trend, the manufacturing industry has very slowly started to invest more time and money in information security, claims European Automation. However, more education and training is required across industry, it warns.

“The cyber threat has been rising steadily in recent years and although investment in information security has seen an increase in the industrial products sector, much more is needed,”​ warned Jonathan Wilkins, European Automation's marketing manager.

“There is a common misconception that hackers are responsible for all cyber attacks and therefore businesses that don’t see themselves as attractive targets don’t need to invest in information security.

‘Human error’

“In reality, the majority of incidents stem from human error and we’d argue that a large number of these are not down to malicious intent, but rather lack of security knowledge.”

Wilkins added: “As well as securing and protecting automated systems, a structured corporate policy should be implemented for staff. The policy should include network use in the offices, as well as risk analysis on suppliers and providers.”

This is the third of six industry reports European Automation is planning over the next six months. Future ones will focus on collapsing automation architecture, machine-to-machine communication and sustainability.

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