As 2022 dawns, it is important for organizations to invest in cybersecurity for their operational technology (OT) systems. Why? One of the reasons is that Industry 4.0 can sometimes introduce more risks for OT. This is evident in several Industry 4.0 market trends.

For example, there is the twin digital infrastructure. This is where you make a digital copy of your production facility or machine. You can then simulate what you want to do in the digital twin and optimize the environment based on that simulation.

The second thing is predictive maintenance. You collect a lot of data from your machine, and if the machine’s behavior in terms of abrasion, temperature, or whatever changes, you perform maintenance windows before your machine breaks down. You interconnect your purchasing system up to production and in the supply chain. So if someone orders a car from your web page in a specific configuration, it automatically goes into the ERP system, ordering the right parts from the right suppliers and scheduling the production line exactly for the product so things get delivered. on time.

The reality of realizing Industry 4.0

In truth, organizations cannot drive digital twin infrastructure, predictive maintenance, and other Industry 4.0 trends without making changes to their technology. First of all, the devices in the production plant need a lot more functions. They need to be easier to address on access and they need to be integrated into automation systems that can address or collect calls.

And then you even need more devices. You want to have sensor values ​​and you need devices that can transfer data between information technology (IT) and OT. You need to have more network devices. From there, you need to collect all of this information in a way that makes sense to OT and security teams.

Now that you have assets with more functions and more devices, you also need cloud performance. Typically, if you want to leverage the machine learning or big data capabilities of the cloud to improve your production or improve your process, you need to gather that data at a central point somewhere with enough computing power. This can make it easier to perform and scale tasks such as maintenance and updates.

Taken together, the use of more devices with more functions as well as the power of the cloud can help you improve the productivity of your processes and ensure their stability. But the downside is that you introduce more cyber risk and more complexity at the other end. We have more devices, which bring more vulnerabilities. And then we start connecting them to the public internet, which increases the risk even more.

What should be done to secure all this?

Organizations can mitigate the vulnerabilities and cyber risks discussed above by having a comprehensive inventory of hardware and software. Then you can start monitoring the lifecycle of the devices, integrating it back into your ERP system, and thereby optimizing the maintenance of your environment much better if you do. This puts you in a position where you can improve your strategies in the future.

Even so, the most important thing is that you follow a step-by-step course. If you’re new to machine learning, for example, your cybersecurity program will never be effective if you miss one of the fundamental or fundamental parts.

As Tripwire, we always keep in mind that cybersecurity is not for its own purpose. We understand that we have market trends that should bring you more efficiency and more productivity. We even believe that cybersecurity should be the driving force behind this initiative.

With our cybersecurity tools, Tripwire provides visibility to improve your availability and reduce your mean time to repair (MTTR). We can help you run your standard processes better and automate them and/or integrate them into your automation systems. And we also recognize that governments and market groups are introducing new regulations and laws that require organizations to defend against certain threats. We carry out these initiatives in line with organizations’ compliance requirements, helping them stay secure for the future.

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