Key security issues
Security risks relating to IIoT in manufacturing include:
- The people who access equipment and data
- The devices connected to machinery and production lines
- The data that are collected and exchanged
Personal securityManufacturers are urgently addressing areas such as authentication and encryption. For instance, hackers often attempt to impersonate authorised users so that they can access data or disrupt processes. On the Internet, passwords are used for authentication and websites are protected by the SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) protocol. However, usernames and passwords aren’t always the best methods of personal authentication for potential IoT users. Some encryption methods are ineffective against potential hackers.
Device securityAuthentication, access control and a lack of basic cyber security measures are all key issues relating to IIoT devices. Weak security has implications for the systems to which they are connected and the whole infrastructure.
Data securityStringent data protection includes safeguarding its transmission, storage, processing and disposal. Cyber security and anti-hacking measures are vital if manufacturers are to take advantage of IIoT. A manufacturing site could have thousands of interconnected devices. The huge amount of data that’s collected and exchanged is almost impossible to monitor: for instance, IBM believes that 2.5 quintillion bytes of data could be being generated each day. Any security must comply with strict data protection regulations, including the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
Omron and IIoT securityOmron and Cisco have joined forces to help manufacturers to enjoy the benefits of IIoT whilst being protected from its vulnerabilities. Cisco’s networking and security technology will be integrated into our machine and programmable logic controllers (PLCs), which deliver reliability under extreme conditions at manufacturing plants. This will help manufacturers to achieve safe and secure production in intelligent sites that use IIoT.
Together, we’ll develop a secure environment in which machine controllers and PLCs provide security authentication for the three risk areas:
- User authentication: Our controllers and PLCs will authenticate user access and grant secure remote access (VPN) only to authorised users.
- Device authentication: The controllers and PLCs will detect device connections, block access from unauthorised devices, and issue real-time alerts.
- Data authentication: Our devices will encrypt communication data and ensure that the data are transmitted appropriately. They’ll detect and record any unauthorised access and security threats by monitoring and visualising data in the network.
ConclusionThe rapid increase in IIoT devices is creating a higher security risk, especially for the data that’s being collected and exchanged. This must be addressed so that IIoT can continue to develop safely and securely in the future. Ensuring the security of IIoT solutions in production lines will help progressive manufacturers to streamline their processes whilst enabling them to make further advances in manufacturing.
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Lucian DoldGeneral Manager Product & Solution Marketing, EMEA