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Rising risk of cyber security attacks

16 July 2013

Leading British manufacturers have united to warn that businesses are facing a rapidly growing threat from deliberate industrial security breaches, noting that the sector needs to increase investment to ensure that industrial safety remains a top priority in the next five years. 

Siemens Industry surveyed 66 leading decision makers from across the oil, gas, renewable energy, chemical, pharmaceutical and the food/beverage sectors at its annual process automation SPACE UG conference in York.

The technology giant, which specialises in industrial security for plants and critical UK infrastructure, found that 83% of leading UK industrialists perceive the threat of industrial security growing across industry. Nearly one in three (29%) said that either their company or other companies known to them in the UK were being subjected to deliberate breaches of industrial security.

Paul Hingley, industrial security specialist for Siemens Industry, said: "Hacking is no longer a back street operation – we now know it is taking place on an industrial scale. It is clear from speaking with strategically critical UK businesses and through our survey of technical decision makers that the threat of industrial security breaches is growing. With nearly one in three manufacturers being attacked or knowing of a firm that has been ‘hacked’, we see a very real need for greater investment in this area - and more time taken to carefully consider the right technology needed to bolster the security of plants and other facilities in the UK.

"Moreover, this should serve as warning to the Government that these attacks won’t just go away - they are becoming more sophisticated, and have the power to close entire plants down -  putting output, jobs and security at risk. It is vitally important that we invest more in R&D covering this area - working with the private sector to hone industrial security technology.”