Businesses and organisations across sectors have increasingly digitalised over the past decade, making them more interconnected than ever before. While this is a definite boon for efficiency, opening organisations up to new possibilities, it has also opened them up to vulnerabilities that have now sadly become commonplace.
This is especially true in businesses that have taken advantage of the Industry 4.0 revolution – sophisticated cyberattacks on factories and other manufacturing plants a decade ago are now ordinary and often a direct result of the interconnection of digital transformation. In the first half of this year alone, approximately one-third of industrial control systems faced attempted hacks, according to Kaspersky.
The uptick in cyberattacks against Industry 4.0 is very concerning, as hijacked machinery can be dangerous to operate, or could create faulty pieces that can lead to defective products. Or, in the case of Critical National Infrastructure, such as if a power plant or water treatment site is targeted, it can affect the health and safety of citizens around the world.
That is why cybersecurity must be a primary focus for Industry 4.0 organisations, from manufacturers to Critical National Infrastructure. The convergence of IT and OT (operational technology) inherent in Industry 4.0 means that any connection is a potential avenue for a cyberattacker to exploit – especially as OT tends to be older and therefore more insecure. Digital risk management tools, such as CyDesk, can go a long way to preventing costly, damaging and dangerous cyberattacks by constantly monitoring an organisation’s cyber threats and taking automatic preventative action.
Cyberattacks will likely continue to rise in Industry 4.0, as hackers take advantage of a sector that is still catching up with their cybersecurity. However, with future consideration of the link between IT and OT in factories and consistent tracking of cyber risks, the Industrial sector can keep these cyber threats at bay.