Can Industry 4.0 Outgrow Cyber-security Issues

Can Industry 4.0 Outgrow Cyber-security Issues

Manufacturing Technology Insights | Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Industry 4.0 powered by IIoT has brought many cyber vulnerabilities such as cyber-attacks. Businesses should be resilient to such incidents by implementing the right plans.

Fremont, CA:  Increasing productivity and reducing costs are the core issues businesses work on. This has led manufacturers to adopt automation, which is gaining popularity across industries. The Modern industry has witnessed the fourth industrial revolution, characterized by computation, networking and physical processes, importantly the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT).

Along with business advantages, there is a need for more interconnected manufacturing networks that is both complex and heterogeneous. It also comes with an increased risk of cyber incidents that are not just limited to cyber-attacks that damage manufacturing facilities. However, the prominent threat to a network’s operational continuity is in its daily occurrence obstructing everyday activity.

Cyber incidents can happen in small or major networks or even process disruptions caused by misconfigurations, erroneous commands and device failures. Preventing such incidents proves crucial for normal production.

There are three common challenges manufacturers face. Here are some ways to address such problems.


Top 10 Industrial IoT Solution Companies - 2019Things like unstable or broken links, IP misconfigurations, “noisy” devices leading to traffic floods, and devices improperly configured by the vendor or system integrator constitute network misconfigurations. This can happen often with only a moderate impact because the network will not always operate reliably. Thus, maintaining operational continuity demands visibility of all assets and communications within the network to identify any existing misconfigurations.

Operational Disruptions

From malfunctioning devices to process, instabilities can cause operational disruptions. Such glitches happen frequently, having a serious impact on the organization’s bottom line. Thus, preventing disruptions demand assessing the current state of network operations, while taking appropriate action in fixing existing anomalies. Next comes, implementing continuous monitoring of the network, so to detect early indicators of threats to operational continuity.

Cyber Threats

Cyberattacks devastate an organization’s reputation with its bottom line. It can be ransomware or even a targeted zero-day attack. The right planning can detect and prevent such attacks. Thus, it is necessary for an organization to have an up-to-date inventory of all its digital assets to understand the network and pinpoint existing vulnerabilities within. Next, authentication processes should align in place, guarding the digital and physical assets.

In addition, the organization should gain the ability to detect anomalous activity. One effective way to do this is by deploying a continuous monitoring solution. Finally, a contingency plan should be in place for a quick response aiding a quicker recovery from a potential cyber-attack.

There is an excellent guideline in the cybersecurity framework of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to strengthen cyber-security practices.

Despite all security challenges faced by Industry 4.0 and IIoT, organizations can get profitable by being resilient to cyberattacks.

See also: Top Cyber Security Companies

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