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Managing cyber risk in the Fourth Industrial Revolution

Published on July 1st 2019

With the advancement of the 4th Industrial Revolution (4IR), manufacturers are exposing themselves to more and more vulnerabilities as they deploy new technologies, which are increasingly Internet-connected. The increased risk can come from the new technologies themselves or from the interactions between new and legacy systems. Cyber attacks are now a growing concern for the manufacturing sector, whether the attacks target safety instrumentation systems, industrial control systems or enterprise systems. A 2018 study by Make UK and AIG found that 48 per cent of UK manufacturers have experienced a cyber attack, with a quarter of the attacks resulting in a financial impact.1 Intellectual property (IP) is the most commonly cited motivation for attacks on the manufacturing sector, although we note that the motivation is not commonly known in most cyber incidents.

This paper will outline the cyber threats and vulnerabilities to the industrial sectors, categorise the losses the sector might experience during an attack and review risk transfer mechanisms, highlighting an innovative application approach enabling an improvement culture within corporates. It will also detail why a particular focus should be created by researchers and policymakers on issues of integrity and safety, before, during or after a cyber attack. Current approaches are pragmatic throughout the organisation, from board to shop floor. A new paradigm is needed to ensure cyber security and safety in the manufacturing sector, as 4IR technologies require a dedicated focus on safe adoption and integration into existing systems.

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This is one of two briefing papers developed under the project “The safety and security dimensions of Industry 4.0”, commissioned to the University of Cambridge (Policy Links – Institute for Manufacturing) by the Global Manufacturing & Industrialisation Summit (GMIS) and Lloyd’s Register Foundation (LRF).

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