Educate to secure

Paul Boughton

The close of 2014 bought with it a spate of high profile cyber attacks. In light of the current cyber climate, industrial automation components supplier European Automation has published an industry report about information security and its growing importance. The report is available for download HERE.

The report looks at where threats come from, how they can be avoided and the need of raising the conversation about information security to board level.

2014 was a year of high profile cyber attacks in which large companies, the likes of Sony Pictures Entertainment, eBay and Apple. In fact, in the UK alone 81% of large corporations and 60% of small businesses reported they had a breach in cyber security last year.

Reacting to this worrying trend, the manufacturing industry has very slowly started to invest more time and money in information security.

However, more education and training is required across industry, from the factory floor to top management. European Automation's special report seeks to raise awareness among manufacturers about cyber security threats.

"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," explained Jonathan Wilkins, marketing manager of European Automation.

"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. 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.

"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. The subsequent ones will focus on collapsing automation architecture, machine-to-machine communication and sustainability.