Cyber Security in Smart Manufacturing

How to Strengthen Cyber Security in Smart Manufacturing

It’s 2020, and it’s the era of digitalization of things. If you observe closely, every element of our daily life is handled digitally. While digital transformation has made our lives simpler and more efficient, it has also increased the possible threat to our personal important information.

Especially when it comes to businesses and different industries, data is their biggest asset. With the increase in cybercrimes, digital security concerns are alarming. The truth is that no organization or industry is immune to security incidents. And, the more are the business operations inter-connected, the more is the security easy to breach.

Let’s take modern smart manufacturing as a concrete example, where digitalization has taken over mostly all functions of their work. All business processes from direct control and process control to business planning and workflow, are currently carried out using digitally stored and accessible data and digital infrastructure. This is a serious alarming situation that raises the exigency of a much secure cyber solution for all the technological aspects.

Speaking of security of digital data and information, Cybersecurity becomes a necessity. Cybersecurity is a set of principles and means of ensuring the security of information processes, approaches to managing security, and other technologies that are used to actively counter the implementation of cyber threats.

Cyber Security of Smart Manufacturing

After the finance and government sectors, the manufacturing industry is known to be the third most targeted industry for cybercrime. After numerous surveys, it was found that attackers often do one of the three things from their attacks in these industries in particular, that are:

  • Theft of the client’s personal details
  • Causing hindrance in the work
  • Industrial surveillance and vandalism

In either of the cases, the stakes are very high and manufacturers should do everything possible in their power to alleviate the risks associated with the digitalization of the manufacturing industries.

How can the Manufacturing Industry Mitigate Risk?

Manufacturing industries have connected systems and processes, and to secure this system, it’s very important for you to invest in both preventative measures and strong active defense: cryptographic countermeasures, intrusion detection, actively training the staff, and well-planned incident management. Let‘s understand these in more details:

Start with a risk management process.

This involves:

  • Prioritization of risks, defining policies, and automating assessment processes.
  • Enforcing strict IT policies and compliance with built-in automation and workflow, which not only will identify threats but also will remediate incidents as they occur or predict them before they happen.
  • Communicating IT and OT risk in business-related terms — using the IT GRC framework, which involves various steps from identifying critical assets through to continuous audit processes.

Follow the Best Defence

Manufacturers often recognize that there is a problem, but most often, their take on cybersecurity protection measures is not on priority, as they see it as too expensive or cumbersome to take on. However, even with the budget constraints, there are strategic steps every manufacturer can take to reduce the security breach risks for their business and their customers. These steps include:

  • Identifying, locating, and monitoring of all connected devices in realtime.
  • Consulting a professional cybersecurity expert to conduct a risk assessment and penetration testing, which should include the analysis of network assets to identify potential vulnerabilities and threats.
  • Download software updates and patches as soon as they are released; by doing so, you make it more difficult for hackers to exploit vulnerabilities.
  • Stay updated on potential cyber threats and vulnerabilities of any new technology assets.
  • Provide cybersecurity training to all employees so they can recognize potential signs that there has been a breach.
  • Always access third-party vendor cyber risks and determine measures that can help prevent any vulnerabilities.

Conclusion

As cyber attacks grow in sophistication, all manufacturers must find ways to prevent attempts to corrupt their data, steal intellectual property, and sabotage their operation. While cyber security is a serious challenge, it is not insurmountable. By implementing cyber security practices now, they may help prevent costly threats to your business.