INDUSTRY 4.0: the advent of the secure industry?

With “Industry 3.0” in the middle of the 20th century, automation in the factory and computers on the work floor were completely isolated from each other. At the time, production machines did not communicate with other devices nor did they synchronize with other systems such as those for ordering, purchasing and production.

There was no direct communication between OT (Operational Technology) and IT and, as such, the risk of a cyberattack was very limited, almost non-existent.

This situation changed rapidly at the beginning of this decade with the introduction of “Industry 4.0”. Production plants are now obliged to deliver their products faster to stay ahead of the competition.  More and more ‘digital transformation’ is taking place in the factory, and IT systems are used to increase productivity and efficiency regularly while lowering costs.

The transition to Industry 4.0 has changed the risk model of a production company drastically. First of all, the Operational Technology network, which used to be isolated, now has to be connected with the IT network. This entails various operational challenges such as software updates and patches for old hardware, which is almost impossible due to the lack of patches for current Operating Systems.

There is a need for data interchange between the IT and the OT network. Furthermore, information has to be shared with external partners, suppliers or supply chain vendors. All this brings about all sorts of security risks.

The manufacturing industry has emerged as an interesting convergence of OT (the industrial network), IT (the corporate network) and IP (intellectual property).  All this requires striking a delicate balance between securing the OT (operational technology) and IT (information technology) networks to thwart industrial espionage and enforce the right restrictions and access management on IP assets.

Visibility is crucial

You cannot secure what you cannot see. That is why a first step in securing your operational network is creating visibility. The Ponemon report drawn up for Tenable in March 2019 shows the current tendencies in the industrial market: 90% of the respondents had at least one harmful cyberattack in the last two years. 50% suffered at least one attack which resulted in downtime in the last 2 years, and only 20% indicated that they have sufficient insight into the attack surface in their organization. These are only a few figures that show attacks on industrial companies can cause serious harm through data leaks, downtime and security.

Dashboards & reporting

What is visualization without a centralized dashboard and reporting?

The dashboards of these types of solutions offer the following options:

  • Centralized, scalable monitoring of OT threats for distributed industrial sites
  • Superior operational visibility and ICS threat detection
  • Time-saving forensic tools
  • Easy integration and sharing of OT and cyber security environments

Why SecureLink?

  • Being the largest networking and cybersecurity expert in Europe, we invest in what really matters. We have added OT security as a top priority for our product and knowledge expansion.
  • IT and OT convergence is taking place. We are here to provide you with trusted advice in both areas. We know the network and IT domain by heart and know the best OT / ICS related security tools for your business. The combination of OT visualization tools, in combination with the next generation of firewalls, can provide an end-to-end security platform that tackles the OT challenges of the customer.
  • We are an international group with more than 700 experts spread over 9 countries and 16 locations.
  • We have our own NOC, SOC and CDC services provided by our own experts, not dependent on the services of suppliers or third parties

It’s all about people, processes, technology and you.