A successful Industry 4.0? Only with Security 4.0!

Intelligent networking of people, machines and production processes - in short, industry 4.0 dominates the branch. Many companies are attracted by global and networked operations. However, the digital developments also entail risks that are not always visible at first glance.

Industry 4.0 and digitisation - the buzzwords of today

The fourth industrial revolution, commonly known as Industry 4.0, is characterized by a deep digitisation of production. The IoT (Internet of Things) and the increased use of artificial intelligence in factories are among the starting points for this. The complete networking of machines and assembly robots in an IP-based network makes it increasingly easier to exchange and process real-time information. So-called Smart Factories are created in which manufacturing processes and even entire orders can be handled almost autonomously. These developments ensure that production becomes more flexible, since all processes are transparent and can be quickly adapted to new conditions. The degree of individualisation of production is also increasing, which means that individual customer wishes can be accommodated more easily. Even small series production becomes profitable. In addition, Industry 4.0 enables innovative business models in which working is redefined by intelligent assistance systems.

In this context, the question arises whether there are any disadvantages or risks at all in relation to industry 4.0. It is well known that every medal has two sides, and here too there are some challenges that still have to be overcome. As in daily private life, security on the Internet is an aspect that should not be ignored.


Cybersecurity at a glance

Due to the increasing networking in the digital age, sensitive data, company secrets as well as the control of machines in the production hall need to be protected from attacks by third parties. In practice, cybersecurity is often associated with IT security. In specialist circles, however, this means that information security is more important. Since there is no clear definition of the terms, there is also no universally valid definition, but according to experts cybersecurity is guaranteed if functional security, operational security, information security, data security and data protection exist in the networked space. This provides protection against any cyber attacks that can be caused by phishing, spyware or ransomware.


The criminal market appears to be diverse,but nobody has to shy away from digitalisation.

Cybercrime is now taking place all over the world, which has made criminal prosecution much more difficult.


Cybercrime rapidly grows

Crime on the internet is a constantly growing segment. Today it increasingly takes place digitally on the World Wide Web and thus all over the world. At the same time, the criminal prosecution of the perpetrators is made considerably more difficult. Since the manufacturing industry is partially networked in a progressive way, new targets for criminal activities in companies are constantly emerging, which have serious consequences. Companies are most frequently confronted with extortion, industrial espionage, sabotage or identity theft.

With crypto currencies gaining in popularity, such as Bitcoins, criminals have a chance to extort money from businesses by using ransomware to infect and paralyze entire corporate networks. Users can only regain access to their data if a ransom payment is made to a Bitcoin account. The transactions carried out are difficult to trace and therefore lead to an extreme investigation effort. A recent example for this is the Ransomware WannaCry of among other things the Deutsche Bahn was concerned.

Medium-sized companies are mostly affected by industrial espionage or the theft of intellectual property in connection with cybercrime. The main focus is on plagiarism and patent infringements, but company secrets, strategies and product policy also arouse the interest of the perpetrators. Networked machines and assembly robots that are controlled digitally are also a possible target for sabotage. Companies are doubly affected, as they themselves suffer from possible attacks on keyless vehicles, for example, and are responsible for possible malfunctions in the end customer sector because they have not adequately protected the products.

An already widely known cybercrime offence is identity theft, which is no longer a rarity even in companies. In this case of net-based crime, the individual writing style of the management staff is imitated. The perpetrators can obtain money, for example, but also internal company information through deceptively genuine e-mails.


 
 

 Cyber attacks can be caused by phishing, spyware or ransomware.©Code.org


Companies can actively protect themselves

The implementation of Industry 4.0 determines how deeply a cybersecurity strategy must be integrated into the company to protect all necessary areas. At present, most factories are still divided into five different levels, but this will no longer be the case in the future due to the direct connection of machines and systems to the Internet and various cloud services. In order to meet the diverse and complex methods of cybercrime, a multi-level cybersecurity strategy is indispensable. In order to actively protect oneself as a company against possible threats, it is no longer sufficient to rely only on technologies and services. Rather, cybersecurity must be ensured across all departments of a company so that it is an integral part of the corporate culture. Retrofitting existing devices usually entails security gaps or the resilience in the factory, which is an integral part of industry 4.0, suffers. Possible solutions to this problem arise from the cooperation of security providers and IT providers from the industrial sector. A prominent example of this is the cooperation between Kaspersky Lab and BE.services. The Embedded Security Shield developed by them is a new security solution for securing industrial automation processes. The Embedded Security Shield is used by manufacturers in the fields of programmable logic controllers and industrial control systems. Through the joint solutions, all industry players should develop a feeling for which security gaps can occur in industry 4.0 and how they can be avoided.


Cybersecurity as a prerequisite for industry 4.0

According to Deutsche Telekom's Cybersecurity Report, the majority of executives believe that industry 4.0 is associated with an increasing risk of cyber attacks. In order to start successfully into the future, a strategy must be integrated into the corporate culture in order to protect the organization's internal values. Even if the criminal market appears to be diverse, solutions are being promoted which should enable the actors not to shy away from digitalisation. It is advisable to draw on the expertise of external experts.

ARTS is an expert in manufacturing engineering and supports customers in the aerospace, automotive and mechanical engineering industries. We are happy to support you in developing your ideas to market maturity, adapting production processes and securing interfaces to logistics and quality management.


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