Is the 4th Industrial Revolution at risk from cyber threats?

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Some good news and some bad news.

The good news? Manufacturers are planning to invest in new digitally enabled production technologies as part of the transformation of industry to the 4th Industrial Revolution (4IR).


The bad news? That level of investment in new technology by manufacturers isn’t being matched by their investment and attention to cyber security.

EEF’s survey of members, published today, shows that only a third of manufacturers have an incident response plan in place to deal with cyber breaches and almost a half don’t have board level discussions about cyber security management.

Additionally, nearly a half of manufacturers have failed to increase their investment in cyber security in the past 2 years.


Risks for manufacturers are significant

Government figures out yesterday show the level of the threat with two-thirds of large companies experiencing a cyber breach last year and 50% of FTSE 350 firms saying cyber threats are their biggest risk.

The risk of a cyber attack is an even bigger issue for manufacturers as we enter an age where more and more production technologies and processes will be internet connected and autonomous.


Cyber risks for manufacturers will go wider than for other sectors as a result of the 4th Industrial Revolution. Risks will include data manipulation, potential changes to product formulation and data held for ransom – all carrying potential health and safety risks.

Is the revolution at risk?

We recently learned that the UK is still a globally important manufacturing nation – 7th in the world in terms of manufacturing output.


If we want to maintain and improve on that position we have to get this digital transformation spot on, anticipating and avoiding roadblocks before they push us off course.

Manufacturers need to be more proactive at managing cyber threats – we’ve put together a short quiz so they can test if they are secure and ready for the 4th industrial revolution.

For our part EEF will be bringing industry together to look at how best to future proof manufacturing.

We’ll be looking at the threats that stand in the way of the digital transformation of the factory floor as part of the 4th industrial revolution, as well as the opportunities and tipping points.

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This person has now left EEF. Please contact us on 0808 168 1874 or email us at if you have any questions.

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