Cyber security in the fourth industrial revolution

Posted on 21 May 2016 by The Manufacturer

With an estimated 50 billion devices connected to the internet by 2020, Terry Greer-King, director of cyber security for Cisco - UKI & Africa, discusses cybercrime in the fourth industrial revolution.

Digital disruption is transforming businesses and industries like never before, with 40% of incumbent businesses expected to be displaced by 2020, according to Cisco and IMD.

Terry Greer-King, director of cyber security, Cisco - UKI & Africa.
Terry Greer-King, director of cyber security, Cisco – UKI & Africa.

The fourth industrial revolution –involving the hyper-connected world of people; processes; data, and things – is set to create unprecedented value for business, individuals and industries at large.

For manufacturers, the ability to move certain operations to the cloud, as well as the growth of the internet of things (IoT), has started to create substantial efficiencies and cost savings across the entire value chain.

We project that $383bn of the total industry opportunity will come from connected products and machines, and new service models over the coming decade.

Manufacturers have already started embracing digitisation to improve efficiencies, with new applications such as machine as-a-service; predictive maintenance; quality control; plant efficiency, and customer engagement, helping to significantly improve operational costs, production uptime and overall productivity.

Future of British Manufacturing

Launched by Autodesk and The Manufacturer – and supported by key partners, the Future of British Manufacturing Initiative (FOBMI) takes a hands-on approach to enable British design and manufacturing companies to respond to the challenges surrounding the fourth industrial revolution.

Buzzwords such as Industry 4.0 and the Internet of Things (IoT) are now frequently encountered, yet are still little understood by many.

Gain a firmer grasp of the trends that are shaping design and manufacturing, and how other companies are already responding to them, by attending one of the upcoming regional Future of Making Thing event at a High Value Manufacturing Catapult Centre:

  • May 25, The MTC – Coventry
  • June 15, AMRC, Rotherham
  • September 21, AFRC, Renfrew

More information about FOBMI can be found here: 

Cisco’s latest survey reveals that since using predictive maintenance, 87% of senior manufacturing decision makers in more than 13 countries saw a positive impact on overall equipment effectiveness.

Digital disruption

Yet, digital disruption in the manufacturing sector is going well beyond predictive maintenance. Industrial robot manufacturer, FANUC, used to ship robots, but had no feedback about usage unless there was a problem and resulting downtime.

Thanks to a new highly secure hybrid cloud, extending its existing data centre to customers’ premises, the company can now extract data from its robots and connect them to people, processes and things, in order to better assess performance, and predict an issue rather than simply reacting after the fact.

The benefits of the connected factory, therefore, are undeniable. Yet the exponential growth of digital connections also brings inherent security risks.

Cisco predicts that by 2020 there will be more than 50 billion devices connected to the internet, and as the network expands and the volume of data traversing it increases dramatically, it’s inevitable that cyber risk will also grow.

As we have seen in the nature and frequency of high-profile hacks of late, cybercrime is a serious business risk to all types of organisations.

Adversaries are as sophisticated and persistent as ever, finding new and intelligent ways to compromise systems, while evading detection. In fact, Cisco research reveals that on average, 60% of data is stolen within the first few hours of an attack, yet 50% of attacks manage to persist for months, if not years, without detection.

Prioritising security capabilities is not only important for protecting manufacturers and their customers’ data, assets and reputation, but is fundamental to successful digital transformation.

Digital Readiness Index

Mitsubishi Electric develops 'fingerprint-like' security solution for IoT devices.
Cisco’s latest Digital Readiness Index has revealed that 42% of UK businesses state security as their biggest challenge.

Cisco’s latest Digital Readiness Index – which surveys organisations and their ability to move fast with digital infrastructure investments – has revealed that 42% of UK businesses state security as their biggest challenge.

As manufacturers adopt new technology standards and look to converge traditional boundaries between IT and operational technology (OT) systems, industrial automation and control systems are exposed to new threats. As OT and industrial devices increasingly becoming networked, they require further attention when it comes to cyber resilience.

The best way to realise the benefits of the IoT while mitigating all sources of risk, is to adopt an integrated, holistic security policy, one which transforms diverse manufacturing processes into a unified and highly secure communication system linking infrastructure, machines, and people.

Rather than deploy point-product solutions, extend security throughout the entire network and all of its access points, from plant to business, may be the most effective way to have visibility and control so as to detect any anomalous behaviour – and block an attack – before it has a chance to compromise a network.

Integrated, holistic approach

In order to do so effectively, starting with the basics and addressing security from the cultural perspective is critical. This involves understanding what the lifeblood of the organisation is and what systems support those functions.

It’s equally vital to address user behaviour so that those who manage and support such systems understand the role of security in the organisations’ objectives. Only then should business focus on what technology is required.

While cybercrime is a significant and serious risk for all types of businesses, it’s not an inhibitor, and by adopting an integrated, holistic approach to security, manufacturers can rest assured that their most valuable assets will remain secure as they digitise their organisation. Something which is not only becoming a means for competitive advantage, but rather, an imperative.

Want to ensure sure your business is ready for the Fourth Industrial Revolution? Then join The Manufacturer’s Henry Anson and Tom Leeson of OpenText for a 30 minute webinar on 23 June, which will discuss what exactly Industry 4.0 will mean for manufacturers.