Strategies to minimise cyber-attack, from a moderated panel of Cyber experts

A presentation at Protecting Manufacturing Assets from the increasing Cybercrime Threat by Simon Whittaker

About this event As organisations continue to employ more internet facing and connected technology, driving increased automation within the manufacturing sector, the cyber-attack surface also broadens, enabling more opportunities for aspiring cyber-criminal groups.

With the manufacturing sector being listed as the third most targeted sector in 2020, with increases in ransomware up by staggering 435%, with around 77% of organisations not having a cyber incident response plan, the risk of a successful cyber-attack against an organisation has increased significantly. Supply chain risks have also increased with 43% of manufacturers in 2020 being asked by their customer or supply base to show evidence of a cyber security plan or guarantee robust cyber security measure before conducting business with them.

Common risks to organisations include:

• Reputational damage

• Loss of client data

• Loss of IP

• Financial loss through fines and revenue

• Sabotage of products and / or production tooling

Cyber security doesn’t have to be complex or expensive and with good Cyber Assurance and with solid fundamentals in place, businesses can significantly lower the risk of being a victim of a cyber-attack.

Hear about:

  • How sophisticated cyber attacks have become over the last few years

  • Why ransomware has become the biggest concern

  • Some of the basics manufacturing organisations should be doing to protect their business

The speakers will be from three regions of Cyber excellence: The State of Maryland which has Memorandum’s of Understanding with The Midlands and Northern Ireland.

The event agenda:

• Setting the scene – the cyber security risks posed to manufacturers, Kimberly Mentzell, Cyber Lead, Department of Commerce, State of Maryland

• Strategies to minimise cyber-attack, from a moderated panel of Cyber experts, from Maryland, Midlands and Northern Ireland, based upon their experiences of assisting businesses:

o Dr Tim Schilbach, CEO Penacity; Justin Smith, President Midshore Technology Services, Maryland

o Simon Whittaker, CEO, Vertical Structure, Northern Ireland

o Chris Woods, CEO, CyberQ Group, Midlands, supported by Peter Knight, Project Engineer, CEPHA, Midlands

• The approach taken by the State of Maryland, to encourage their manufacturing businesses to become cyber security aware and implement cyber security best practises. Government of the State of Maryland will address this subject.

• Questions from the audience

The audience is invited to (anonymously) raise questions prior to and during the event, for the panellists to address.

Post the event, manufacturers have their opportunity to pose their specific challenges in confidence to our wider range of Cyber security experts from across all three regions, for consideration.


The following resources were mentioned during the presentation or are useful additional information.