The Centripetal Blog

Cybersecurity for Manufacturers in the Era of Industry 4.0

Posted by Byron Rashed on August 17, 2021

Manufacturing isn’t a new industry, but it’s an ever-evolving one. The transformation of the industry by IoT, IIoT, OT, SCADA devices, and other data-related technologies is so significant that it’s been called the fourth industrial revolution – or Industry 4.0. However, despite 91 percent of manufacturers investing in digital technology, 35 percent have said that they are inhibited from fully investing due to cybersecurity concerns. Threats like ransomware have increased 156 percent within the industry between 2019 and 2020 and global cyber incidents like WannaCry and LockerGaga have hit manufacturers hard, shutting down facilities, corrupting systems, and putting organizations at huge reputational and financial risk. 

Smart Factories and their challenges

Within Smart Factories, automated industrial internet of things (IIoT) devices communicate and transmit data across multiple systems in real-time. This seamless flow of information is used to adjust and optimize performance, automate the production line to decrease downtime, and ultimately improve productivity and profitability.

But as manufacturing systems and Smart Factories become more automated and data-driven, attack surfaces grow. 48 percent of manufacturers surveyed identified operational risks –which include cybersecurity – as the greatest danger of smart factory initiatives. Without robust cybersecurity measures, every IoT device becomes a potential backdoor to sensitive information. If one device within a network is unsecured, a hacker may be able to access and disrupt the database, causing disturbances in production and financial damage. When US pharmaceutical manufacturer Merck was infected by the NotPetya cyberattack, the organization suffered a loss of over $135 million in sales and $175 million in additional costs. A similar attack could be crippling to a smaller company.

Supply chain complexity

Industry 4.0 technologies have prompted an evolution in manufacturing supply chains, with devices now able to communicate via digital supply networks (DSNs). DSNs are more dynamic and flexible, made possible by open data sharing from all participants. But this can create access points to other internal information, introducing new attack vectors for malicious actors to exploit, and compromising all levels of the supply chain.

The complexity of global manufacturing supply chains also complicates cybersecurity compliance. On top of a huge number of product safety, machinery, and technical regulations, manufacturers must consider cybersecurity standards such as the ISO27001 series, the GDPR, and ISA/IEC 62443 Standards. And global manufacturers with longer supply chains need to adhere to different standards for every partner they work with and each region their supply chain spans, making compliance a cumbersome issue. Despite 89 percent of manufacturing sector respondents understanding the importance of data standards, only 11 percent actually invest in implementing them.

Building expertise

As the complexity and frequency of attacks continue to increase and the cybersecurity skills gap widens, it’s difficult to find and hire the talent needed to design and implement threat detection and mitigation solutions. Manufacturing staff involved in deployment usually specialize in either IT or OT security, while Industry 4.0 requires expertise in several areas, such as overall network security and embedded systems. 12 percent of manufacturers surveyed said they had no technical or managerial measures to assess or mitigate a cyberattack, and without an official response strategy, organizations are risking their revenue and their reputation should a breach occur. Protecting customer, client, and partner data within a manufacturing organization requires a personalized response strategy, real-time monitoring, and streamlined threat intelligence.

Our solution, CleanINTERNET, identifies real known threats by monitoring incoming and outgoing traffic in real-time, and provides bi-directional mass-shielding to prevent network infiltration and data exfiltration. We offer the manufacturing sector instant visibility across large, decentralized networks in a way that is effortless to implement and maintain.

Centripetal CleanINTERNET utilizes a growing base of over 3,500 cyber threat intelligence feeds, using dynamic cyber threat intelligence to identify what’s relevant for your business. Our cyber threat analysts act as an extension of your team, delivering personalized findings and shielding recommendations straight to you, and alleviating the burden on your security team. CleanINTERNET also helps mitigate risk from failure to meet compliance standards such as PCI DSS, ITAR, HIPAA, and more. The Centripetal team provides personalized support from day one, working with you from implementation onwards to simplify cyber threat intelligence and allowing you to focus on growing and running your business without the concern of cyber threats.

Get in touch with our team for more information on cyber threat intelligence for the manufacturing industry. Stay tuned for our next blog on evolving cybersecurity threats within the energy sector.

Tags: CleanINTERNET, Manufacturing