Research from AVORD – a new security testing platform that launches today – reveals that 89% manufacturers have seen an increase in the number of data breaches over the last five years.

Opportunistic multi-national consultancies are being blamed for inflating the price of security testing in the UK, with many manufacturers being charged inflated prices to conduct tests on their critical assets. And with increasing fines for manufacturers found to be in breach of industry regulations, the cost of hacking can be huge.

The findings put the spotlight firmly on the security testing market, which is dominated by consultancies who provide services to businesses, sometimes at twice the daily rate of an independent tester – often referred to as ethical hackers. With 77% of UK businesses claiming the cost of testing is too expensive, there is a clear demand for change.

Over three quarters of manufacturers outsource their cybersecurity testing according to the research, with 73% increasing the level of security testing on the Internet of Things (IoT).

Worryingly, 40% of manufacturing companies have battled an online security breach in the past 12 months, which have directly hit their bottom lines through costly fines and loss of business. However, with cyberthreats constantly evolving and changing, nearly three quarters said that approving the target and regularity of testing is the biggest difficulty when it comes to cybersecurity.

Over the past five years, the majority of companies have seen a major increase in the number of data breaches: one in five reported an increase of between 11% and 20%, while more than a half reported up to 10% more data breaches.

The impact of breaches in the past 12 months has been wide spread, with 85% experiencing a fine from regulators and 78% reporting a loss of customers. Almost all companies confirmed that the breach was at least partially due issues in the security testing process.

Brian Harrison, founder and CEO of AVORD, commented: “Quite simply, security testing has become too expensive for many UK businesses. Companies are struggling to cope with the ever-increasing threats impacting on their attempts to secure systems at current costs. Unless something changes, businesses will be forced to cut corners, and this will inevitably mean there are more data breaches and system outages.

“AVORD has been designed to disrupt the current security testing model by cutting out the costly ‘middle-man’ consultancies and allows businesses to directly manage and engage security testers. This means that whereas industry currently pays up to £1,100 per day for cybersecurity testing, that cost will be reduced to approximately £600, collectively saving UK businesses around £3bn annually.”