Securing manufacturing and industry of the future

February 26, 2021

With the fourth Industrial Revolution – or Industry 4.0 – in full swing, it is important to consider the cybersecurity implications of the increase of digitalization in manufacturing and industry. IoT devices are becoming commonplace in factories, leading to increased output – but also heightened cybersecurity concerns.

‘Smart’ and IoT devices or machines don’t operate in isolation. By definition, they are connected and communicating with other devices around them, whether it’s a control centre, the cloud infrastructure or other devices. Disruption to these communications could halt production, wasting time and money as the hack is discovered and fixed. Furthermore, if communications such as these are not only disrupted, but also hijacked by transferring alternate information, the consequences could be even more severe. A halt in production is still possible, but so is the deliberate construction of faulty products. If a hack such as this goes unnoticed, faulty products could go out to consumers, destroying the integrity of the product.

This may not seem like a critical issue – after all, if a device like a phone or baby monitor is faulty, the company only loses money. Unideal, but not necessarily life-threatening. However, in cases such as auto part or medical device manufacturing, it’s easy to see how cyberattacks can not only be costly, but dangerous.

As manufacturers and factories look to digitalise, they must do so with security in mind. Implementing basic cybersecurity measures, such as access control, can go a long way towards protecting Smart machinery. And security solutions like ANGOKA’s ensures the identity of each machine, safeguarding the integrity of each machine-to-machine communication.

Industry 4.0 promises to usher in a new age of manufacturing. However, with digitalisation comes increased threats, and may pose severe challenges to manufacturers and factories. But, with strong cybersecurity measures in place, Industry 4.0 will flourish.

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