Choosing connectivity or security is a big decision for manufacturers right now. Writing for Design News, Rob Spiegel explains that adding connectivity provides ever-increasing benefits, but also increases the risks of attacks from malfeasants.
The difficulty of making manufacturing systems communicate with IT networks only complicates the issue. A security expert from Booz Allen Hamilton, Pranav Saha, explains, “Cyber is a different language from manufacturing. It’s the IT language of routers and firewalls. Cyber fits into the business language of risk management, including mitigating risk with insurance. This is not the network language of sensors and drives.”
Previously, direct physical access was required to deliver an attack. But, as manufacturing plants open up to greater outside connectivity, cyberattacks are easier to carry out due to the ubiquity of internet connections. Management has to consider security as they implement these connections or will leave themselves open not only to attacks from skilled hackers, but subsequent attacks from less skilled agents who may purchase the hack over the internet.