The next industrial revolution is officially upon us. The interconnected nature of Industry 4.0 drives digital transformation in manufacturing—as information technology (IT), operational technology (OT), and intellectual property (IP) all converge within “smart factories.” But like any widespread advance within the technology sector, Industry 4.0 brings forth its own set of challenges. Integrating an organization’s IT infrastructure with the OT and IP sides of the business means that the attack surface—and risk—increases significantly. Looking towards the future, Trend Micro provides a strategy for C-level IT and security executives to follow when considering the security implications, network architectures, technologies, processes, and reporting lines being ushered in alongside the deployment of these new technologies.
Implementing Industry 4.0 Securely with Foresight
Industry 4.0 requires the convergence of IT and OT networks1, centralization and specialization of manufacturing, and the integration of protocols and devices that were not designed to be part of a TCP/IP world.
Manufacturing equipment has long life cycles, with computers and related equipment lasting an average of nine years before replacement or decommissioning2. Industry 4.0 adoption—where equipment and systems in the production line are able to communicate with one another—will take years, perhaps even a decade, to be realized. In the meantime, we see an industry that is slowly evolving by replacing equipment piece by piece.
Cybersecurity features need to be integrated into the design of the equipment in order to make maintenance and protection easier in a highly connected factory network. Otherwise, the cybersecurity team will be forced to implement less than optimal workaround solutions that may cost more to implement or be difficult to set up and maintain, reducing the significant potential operational benefits of connected manufacturing.