How the Industry 4.0 era will change the cybersecurity landscape

How the Industry 4.0 era will change the cybersecurity landscape
How the Industry 4.0 era will change the cybersecurity landscape

We’ve come a long way from the industrial revolution that saw the creation of steam engines and mechanised manufacturing completely transforming the world at the time. Then came electricity and later, IT-enabled manufacturing. Today we stand at the edge of the fourth industrial revolution with the growing use of IoT and the lines between technology and the real world become increasingly blurred.

Businesses and organisations are rapidly finding ways of using IoT to increase operational efficiency, enhance customer experiences and optimising logistics and supply chains. At the same time, however, cybercriminals are putting in just as much effort into finding ways to breach their security, the affects of which could be devastating to a company.

“In 2016, a DDoS attack on Dyn’s servers took down PayPal, Spotify, Netflix and Twitter. A year later, an IT failure forced British Airways for freeze thousands of Executive Club frequent flyer accounts because of a breach. There is always someone out there with malicious intent trying to find a way into the latest tech or attempting to breach the most sophisticated security,” says Indi Siriniwasa, Vice President for Trend Micro, Sub-Saharan Africa.

ICS (Internet Connection Sharing) is the core of cyber-physical systems, which is what makes the Industry 4.0 era work. In December 2017, TRITON/TRISIS appeared on the scene and has become a handy tool in the arsenal deployed by ICS attackers. This single piece of malicious code has the potential to cause dire physical consequences.

Modern ICS have vulnerabilities that malicious actors can use in order to target networks. Any connected system, including industrial robots, that remains exposed can easily be scanned for vulnerabilities and exploited possible leading to defective goods coming off the production line. If IoT devices haven’t been secured, they could be hacked and used to instigate DDoS or other cyber attacks.

“We are seeing more companies moving towards using smart factories, industrial robots and other IoT enabled devices to increase productivity and efficiency. This is all part of the digital future we are entering. However, now is the time to be more vigilant than ever and to implement the right kind of cybersecurity in order to protect vulnerable systems,” says Siriniwasa.

An integrated approach holds the answer, with the foundation to effective security coming from next-generation intrusion detection and prevention, application whitelisting, integrity monitoring, virtual patching, advance sandboxing analysis, machine learning, behaviour analysis, anti-malware, risk detection, vulnerability assessment, next-generation firewall, anti-spear-phishing, spam protection, and data leakage technologies.

“This is not the time to think you could take a chance or skimp on cybersecurity. Risk-reducing architecture is highly important as well as keeping up to date with what’s new in cybersecurity. Partner with a trusted solutions provider so that your entire digital environment is covered. The smarter the tech becomes, the smarter the cybercriminals become. That’s why we need security solutions that are even smarter,” Siriniwasa concludes.

Edited by Fundisiwe Maseko
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