By AMSAT Dec 04,2020
Six ways to protect against digital threats
As digitization and connectivity are set to bring about the fourth industrial revolution, manufacturers need to adopt cybersecurity to ensure physical assets and intellectual property are effectively protected against theft and attack.
The digitization of manufacturing, or Industry 4.0 as it is commonly known, is prompting industrial players to attain new levels of efficiency, quality, and visibility.
Although these are exciting times in manufacturing, there is a flip side to the speedy progress that’s on track. Unhappily, more connections also open the door to new security risks, and earlier generations of industrial control systems were not developed with security or IP connectivity in mind.
As per a recent Cisco study, if cybersecurity concerns delay digital execution, it could take up to five years to keep up with the competition. Since the industrial sector has some of the most amateur security practices and policies and rock-bottom quality security infrastructure, the very cogent risk of being left behind cannot be ruled out.
Here are the 6 tried-and-tested ways the industrial sector can embrace to defend against digital threats.
The basics must be covered
Several industrial companies don’t have even a simple security policy in writing, a business should begin by drafting and enforcing a set of written security policies and procedures for its plant that will, for example, delineate who should be able to access the network in the first place and how. It should encompass enduring employees and contractors, while also spelling out what assets they can access, define adequate asset use, and define reporting systems for events. Written policies should also include an incident response plan, including any measures to re-establish significant production systems after a security event.
Defend assets with physical access restrictions
Some of the most rigorous harm comes from within, when entry is acquired from the factory floor. Whether it’s averting inventory lift, data loss or intellectual property theft, businesses can take advantage of an all-inclusive physical security solution incorporated with a secure wired and wireless industrial network. It’s important to defend assets with physical access restrictions like locks, key cards, and video supervision. If possible, you can also add device verification and authorization, as well as encryption.
Take a holistic approach
The more connections you have in your manufacturing setting, the more odds for a breach. No single technology, merchandise, or method can completely protect your network. A fundamental mapping exercise will help you begin, providing an account of all the devices and software on your network. Keep in mind, ‘air gap’ approaches are imperfect, as a robot or device’s being linked to the network doesn’t ensure its complete safety. One fraudulent or malicious thumb drive will put a remote machine at risk of unintended downtime or worse, safety incidents.
Use industry best practices
It’s important to set up zones and design schemes to separate your sub-systems by employing industry best practices, such as the ISA IEC 62443 standard. Creating a DMZ (demilitarized zone) between your company and manufacturing networks is equally important. On the network edge, firewalls and intrusion finding will help you avoid possible risks and threats. And within the network, using out-of-band deep packet inspection (DPI) in your routers, switches, and other network devices can help you detect viruses, spam, and other disruptions.
Frustrate attackers at the edge
An important piece of any company’s network structural design rests the internet edge, where the corporate network meets the public internet. Internet edge is the first step to cyberspace, and performs a number of roles for the typical enterprise network. With network users reaching out to websites and using email for B2B communication, you need to keep your business resources both accessible and secure. Something as straightforward as moving from unmanaged switches in your network to lightly managed switches enables you to better protect ports and improve network visibility, control and defense.
By thinking holistically and merging several layers of defense, you can secure intellectual property and physical assets from inadvertent breaches and cyber theft, while accelerating threat resolution, decreasing downtime, and driving productivity gains across your services.
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