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Cyber News

Manufacturing: how to defend against cybercrime

Cyber Security in the Manufacturing Sector

Cyber Security in the Manufacturing Sector: the scenario

The manufacturing sector is increasingly becoming a target for cybercriminals. According to the latest Clusit Report, in Italy, attacks on manufacturing have increased by 25% in the past year, confirming a steadily rising trend over the last 4 years.

These alarming statistics demonstrate that defining and implementing a robust defense strategy against cyber-attacks must be a priority for all SMEs nowadays.

Understanding the risks and taking preventive action against IT attacks is essential to protect sensitive production data, preserve reputation, and ensure operational continuity.

The Convergence of IT Security and OT Security

One of the challenges the manufacturing sector must deal with is the convergence between IT security and OT security.

OT technology refers to the systems and devices used to control production processes and physical operations within factories. These may include devices such as sensors, automation systems, and industrial machinery.

IT technology encompasses traditional computer systems used for data management, communication, and administrative operations within the company.

The increase in interconnectivity resulting from the Industry 4.0 paradigm has led to a rise in the number of intelligent machines that process and communicate a vast amount of data.

Each machine is connected to the network via IoT sensors, providing a potential entry point for intrusion into the company’s IT system.

The interconnection between these two worlds, if managed insecurely, can create significant vulnerabilities. For instance, a targeted IT attack could serve as a gateway to compromise OT systems, jeopardizing production and employee safety.

To mitigate these risks, SMEs should adopt the following measures:

  • Network segmentation: Virtually separating different parts of our corporate network to ensure that an attack on one part cannot compromise the entire network. This means that even if one area of the network is compromised, other areas remain protected.
  • Access control implementation: limiting access to OT and IT systems only to authorized personnel can reduce the risk of compromise by unauthorized individuals. Implementing multi-factor authentication and enforcing least privilege, i.e., restricting employee access only to resources and information necessary for their job, can help ensure that only individuals with the appropriate level of authorization can access critical systems.
  • Continuous monitoring: implementing continuous monitoring systems for OT and IT networks and devices allows companies to promptly detect any anomalies or suspicious activities. Early detection can help limit damage and take corrective measures quickly.
  • Regular updates and patching: Keeping OT and IT systems up-to-date with the latest security patches is crucial to protect SMEs from known vulnerabilities and attack methods. Patches fix security flaws in software and devices, making it harder for cybercriminals to exploit them for malicious purposes.

The interconnection between OT and IT systems in the manufacturing sector offers opportunities for efficiency and innovation but also presents significant cybersecurity challenges.

SMEs must adopt a proactive strategy to protect their systems and data by implementing robust security measures such as network segmentation, access control, continuous monitoring, and regular updates.

Only through a holistic approach to cybersecurity can SMEs effectively protect their operations and ensure business continuity in today’s increasingly complex digital landscape.

Defend Your Business with SGBox

The SGBox Next Generation SIEM & SOAR Platform is the modular and scalable solution capable of adapting to the specific security needs of SMEs.

SGBox combines the Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) functionalities of collecting, correlating, and analyzing security information with the Security Orchestration, Automation, and Response (SOAR) functionalities.

Its adoption enables setting up a proactive defense strategy against cyber threats, thanks to in-depth analysis and timely detection of dangers that could compromise the integrity of OT and IT systems.

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