Smart Factories Are Under Attack: Are You Prepared?

Last week, we were given yet another reminder about the importance of critical infrastructure security when an outage of Rogers telecommunications services impacted Canadians across the country. While the company stated that the issue stemmed from a “maintenance update,” it served as an example of the widespread impact that a breach of such systems could cause. As Steven Lachance, technology and cybersecurity analyst, explained to Yahoo, “Critical national infrastructure that we depend on did not have any kind of redundancy or safety measures in place to prevent this kind of thing from happening.”

Connected Devices Give Rise to Smart Factories and Cybersecurity Concerns 

A lack of preventative measures is obviously not just a Canadian critical infrastructure problem. It is a global one. And it is only becoming more evident with the rise in smart factories. Capgemini Research Institute recently surveyed 950 organizations located throughout the world and found that many are insufficiently equipped to handle the growing cyberthreat state. As the number of connected devices used to function smart factories continues to rise exponentially, a large portion of these operators admitted that they are overwhelmed. A major contributor to that trend is a lack of expertise. Fifty-seven percent stated that shortage in smart factory cybersecurity talent far outweighs that of IT cybersecurity talent.

Investing in Cybersecurity Leadership and Resources 

However, the report reveals that if companies invest in appointing cybersecurity leaders that can direct teams in education and practice, they are much more likely to avoid the detrimental effects of an incident. In a piece for Forbes, Dhrupad Trivedi adds that service providers should also “evolve their practices and prioritize security over mere compliance. This includes building a zero-trust architecture to address potential vulnerabilities and protect against not only evolving malware and ransomware attacks but DDoS attacks, as well.”

Although there has been action at the federal level to provide guidance for cybersecurity such as the Cyber Incident Reporting for Critical Infrastructure Act of 2022 introduced by President Biden, Politico reports that such regulation may be criticized depending on the outcome of the upcoming midterm elections. This makes the work being done on behalf of groups like the Cybersecurity Manufacturing Innovation Institute (CyManII) so essential. DYNICS is proud to be a member of this coalition and supports the roadmap resource that it recently released. As we face this evolving cybersecurity environment, CyManII  wants to ensure that manufacturers, including smart factory operators, are ready to tackle the process of strengthening their safeguards. By helping companies understand the tools available to protect operations in the digital age, business productivity and the flow of the market is better secured.

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