the next five years, cybersecurity concerns
could hinder the speed and scope of adoption of M4.0 technologies and approaches
in some way in their companies. While only
7% currently expect cyber issues to significantly restrict their M4.0 journey and
create major obstacles, almost half, 47%,
agree that cyber concerns will indeed hinder some aspects of adoption in the years
ahead (see Chart 11).
More Important than Ever
Clearly, cybersecurity as a business issue is rapidly rising up the lead- ership agenda and is now more
important than ever for today’s manufacturing enterprises. Results from the new
survey show that 64% of companies now
regard cyber issues as of ‘high importance’
to the future of their business (see Chart 1),
up from under half at 47% in 2015. Their
biggest fears remain the unpleasant prospect of sudden business disruption or the
theft of proprietary information, rather
than equipment damage or financial loss
(see Chart 2). Yet less than a quarter say
they currently have a dedicated cybersecurity budget in place to provide the right
software, training, and education on their
increasingly connected plant floors to help
prevent such IP theft and disruption from
happening, (see Chart 3).
Over a third of manufacturing compa-
nies have also seen an increase in the num-
ber of cyber attacks over the last year, re-
sulting in some level of disruption to their
operations (see Charts 4 & 5). Thankfully,
most of these companies were able to re-
cover quickly, or did not have their opera-
tions substantially affected. But severe
attacks that stopped the business entirely
were still recorded by 8% of respondents.
More worrying is that a substantial 58%
of respondents expect to experience a continued increase in cyber attacks in the next year.
The chances are that some of these may well
be more seriously debilitating (see Chart 6).
So what areas do companies now see as most vulnerable? And what are they doing about it?
Top of the manufacturing worry list for
the future are the very technologies that
underpin the M4.0 journey. Over half of
the respondents cited more connected
devices and the wider deployment of Industrial Internet of Things technologies
as driving the increase in cyber vulnerability (see Chart 7). More hackers and more
criminal activity were also perceived as
causes, with around a quarter of respondents also worried about increasing terrorist, competitive, and nation-state attacks.
Industrial IoT technologies and Smart
Products were again highlighted as among
the most vulnerable aspects of a company’s
expanding technology infrastructure, with
around a quarter of respondents considering both these areas to be ‘High Risk” right
now. While on the plant floor itself, over half
of the respondents felt that their PLC and
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of the re-
in the years
Paul Tate is Research
Director and Executive
Editor at the Manufacturing Leadership