The Importance of Industry 4.0 Cyber Security

The Importance of Industry 4.0 Cyber Security

Leading global management consultancy firm Deloitte recently published a  report entitled Industry 4.0 and Cybersecurity, which explores an increasingly important topic in logistics – managing risk in the modern age of connected production. Many of disruptive technologies that helped to fuel the growth of fintech could potentially play an important role in mitigating cyber risk.

Deloitte University Press, the publishing arm of global consultancy firm Deloitte, recently published its in-depth report on Industry 4.0 and cyber security. The report aims to highlight a critical new risk for digital supply networks, namely: cyber risk. Specifically, the need for secure, vigilant, and resilient cybersecurity strategies that are fully integrated from the outset is highlighted.

Industry 4.0 is a term that refers to the shift toward increased connectivity of smart machinery, and it is heralding in a new time of connected, smart manufacturing, responsive supply networks, and bespoke products and services. It aims to combine the digital world with physical action, so as to better enable advanced manufacturing. Although industry 4.0 promises to enhance digital capabilities throughout manufacturing and supply chain processes, it also carries new cyber risks for which the industry is hardly prepared.

The end of the first decade of the new millennium saw destruction from sophisticated malware known as Stuxnet, which in 2009 manipulated the speed of centrifuges in a nuclear power plant, causing them to spin out of control. The damaging malware, which was introduced within stand-alone networks using flash drives, was capable of autonomously spreading across production networks. Stuxnet offers a pointed example of the potentially devastating impact of a weaponised cyber attack in the ecosystem of connected physical factories.

Organisations must be capable of protecting a vast array of technology along the supply chain, whereas a would-be cyber attack must only be able to pinpoint the weakest link. There are other, equally important risks that businesses must also take into consideration. Organisations increasingly make use of innovative, connected technologies to transform, modernise, and otherwise make tactical or strategic business decisions that could potentially result in critical cyber risks. It is imperative that organisations manage and mitigate these risks to be able to succeed.

According to Deloitte, the development of a fully integrated strategic approach to cyber risk is essential as value chains become continually more combined in operational technology (OT) and information technology (IT). In fact, it is this very force that is driving the Industry 4.0 revolution. With Industry 4.0, new threats continue to risk, and the need to consider and address these new risk is evident. The new era has brought along new challenges to successful implementation of a secure, vigilant, and resilient cyber risk strategy. As supply chains, factories, operations, and customers continue to become more interconnected, cyber risk also rises, and stretches to new lengths. Acknowledging these risks in a timely manner is a must. Cyber security should be an integral aspect of any new industry 4.0 initiative.

This report by Deloitte University Press explores the connected digital supply networks of the modern age, as well as smart factories, and even connected devices, shedding light on the different cyber risks that each of these areas carries with it. The report addresses the production life-cycle (as seen in the figure below), starting with the digital supply network, moving on to the smart factory, and concluding with a look into connected objects. Specifically, the report looks into the actions that information security executives and operations leaders can consider taking to be able to better anticipate and effectively address cyber risks. A key point highlighted in the conclusion of the report is the need for proactive integration of cybersecurity into any Industry 4.0 strategy.

                                                                      Figure • Smart production life cycle and cyber risk

This report summary is based on a publication by Supply Chain 24-7. The report was subsequently downloaded directly from Deloitte. To read or download a PDF copy of the complete Deloitte report, click here.