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Manufacturing taking the brunt of cyber-attacks in United Kingdom

Manufacturing has become an increasingly vulnerable industry with the United Kingdom one of the most cyber attacked countries in Europe.

The vulnerability of manufacturing to various cyber-criminal attacks is highlighted in IBM’s Security X-Force Threat Intelligence Index 2022  which pointed out that:” Vulnerability exploitation was the top initial attack vector in manufacturing, an industry grappling with the effects of supply chain pressures and delays.”

The Index revealed manufacturing was the top attacked industry in Europe in 2021, with 25% of attacks, followed by finance and insurance (18%) and then professional and business services (15%). The United Kingdom, Italy, and Germany were the most-attacked countries in Europe.

The main threats for manufacturers have been identified as Phishing, Ransomware, Intellectual Property Theft, Supply Chain attacks and Industrial IOT attacks. In the face of those threats, Cyber insurance is vital for businesses.

Cyber cover may be purchased as a stand-alone product or as add-on coverage to traditional lines of business such as commercial property, business interruption or professional indemnity insurance, although more specific Cyber policies are highly encouraged to avoid ambiguity over coverage and secure wider more relevant cover and cyber crisis management support.


The IBM Security X-Force Threat Intelligence Index 2022 showed that:

  • Manufacturing becomes the world’s most attacked industry. About 1 in 4 attacks on this sector are from ransomware. Manufacturing replaced financial services as the top attacked industry in 2021, representing 23.2% of the attacks X-Force remediated last year. Ransomware was the top attack type, accounting for 23% of attacks on manufacturing companies.
  • Malware uses sophisticated new tricks to infiltrate. 3,000% Surge in IoT malware activity between Q3 2019 and Q4 2020.
  • Vulnerabilities rise sharply as the Internet of Things expands. 2,204% Increase in adversarial reconnaissance activity targeting a popular supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) messaging protocol between January and September 2021, as observed by X-Force.
  • Sixty-one percent of incidents at OT-connected organizations last year were in the manufacturing industry. In addition, 36% of attacks on OT-connected organizations were ransomware.
  • Phishing was 2021’s top infection vector, and the brands that were most imitated in phishing kits are among the largest and most trusted companies: Microsoft, Apple and Google.


The Covid-19 pandemic exposed the vulnerability of the long, complex supply chains used by global manufacturers and cyber criminals were quick to exploit weaknesses in decades old systems. Experts believe that with manufacturers heavily reliant on supply chains there is a greater willingness to pay ransoms to the cyber criminals.

With changes to working practises taking place involving increased working from home, identifying vulnerable computer networks is vital with manufacturers looking to bring more connectivity into the production facilities including the growth of “smart” factories.

Cyber insurance helps protect organisations from the fallout from cyber-attacks and hacking threats by potentially covering certain consequential financial costs and minimising business disruption.

W Denis can arrange specialist cyber insurance cover and can offer first class technical advice. Solutions are available for multi-billion turnover businesses, down to small start-ups. To discuss this further with a broker at W Denis, please make arrangements with Daniel Moss at or on 0044 (0)113 2439812

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