Industrial Revolution 4.0 or Industry 4.0 is not just an empty marketing buzzword that has been around since 2011. Our predecessor started industry 1.0 around 200 years ago, which was marked by the transition from manual working (by hand) to machines powered by a water wheel or steam engine. Now, the unprecedented cutting-edge technology brings us to Industry 4.0, following in the footsteps of Industry 3.0 (computer and internet) and Industry 2.0 (mass production and electricity).
The keyword of Industry 4.0 is automation which was created by the pairing of artificial intelligence (machine learning and deep learning) and interconnected devices (IoT), leading to the vast amount of data transactions (big data).
In other words, Industry 4.0 is marked by the rise of automated, robot-based, modern manufacturers that require little input from the human being. The automation is not limited to the manufacturing network but also includes the supply chain network. As a result, it generates the holistic and efficient manufacturing ecosystem that we call ‘smart manufacturers’.
The higher level of security issue
As the world arrives at Industry 4.0
, the interconnectivity becomes paramount and the data becomes currency for manufacturers. The machine learning and analytics process and analyze the data into real-time or near real-time information which is a benefit for decision making. This sensitive information is not limited to related-manufacturing processes but also may include intellectual property of the manufacturer or company, customers’, and other confidential information.
While ‘smart manufacturers’ offer remarkable benefits, the nature of their interconnectivity brings the security risk of these data to a higher level. The attackers, both from internal and external sides, are fully aware of how more vulnerable the system ever than before to be exploited because of the interconnected devices. The increased vulnerability opens more chances for the attackers to carry out some methods of cybercrime such as hacking, malware, social engineering, privilege misuse, and physical intrusion with a more extensive impact on the aftermath.
One of the ugly cyber fraud scenarios is when the attackers sabotage the production line, system related to manufacturing or even the IT infrastructure of the manufacturer by sending a command from internet connected-control component. The sudden halt of the manufacturing process could be the worst possible outcome.
The best practice
As Industry 4.0 is still evolving, other risks and new forms of threats keep breaking out. There is no one-for-all fix to address the cyber security issue in the industry. Yet, companies are encouraged to implement the secure, vigilant, and resilient approach in order to protect the connected environment and to avoid as well as minimize the cost whenever the attack hits the home base.
Here are some, but not limited to, general steps the companies can implement:
- Building commitment and awareness of cyber fraud prevention starts with the tone from the top.
- The company should have a ‘privacy officer’ in the structure, one who has sufficient knowledge in IT and law with the right work program.
- To socialize the importance of main data confidentiality to all employees.
- To classify data.
- To recruit the right talent.
- To conduct real-time monitoring constantly and to deploy the latest technology to detect data leaks.
- To have a responsive approach over the red flags.
- To keep an eye on the evolving cybercrime.
Photo by Ümit Yıldırım