Is Cybersecurity the Biggest Challenge for Industrial Machinery in 2022?

Since most transactions nowadays are done via the internet, every business is prone to cyber-attacks. That’s why they always opt for solutions such as proxies to counter such attacks.

Residential proxies from Blazing SEO help businesses improve their security system. Proxies encrypt your web request to access websites on the internet. They use an intermediate server to transport your internet traffic. All of your server requests are routed through the proxy server, which grants you a different IP address. By doing so, you can maintain the privacy of your personal information and browsing patterns.

However, it’s different when it comes to industrial machinery. There has been an increase in cyber-attacks targeting industrial control systems (ICS) this year. Basic virus protection software hardly secures the system. The number of machines that can be hacked is increasing all the time.

This article will highlight the top cybersecurity threats that industrial companies will face this coming 2022.

How IT-OT Convergence Contributes to Security Risks

Companies nowadays need to adapt to the digital world. Industrial machinery is becoming more linked to the internet. Machines today have sensors that generate and transmit data to a back office, which is usually on the cloud. Remotely delivered operating instructions and software upgrades are sent to machines. 

The manufacturing industry has its own set of cybersecurity requirements. They want real-time data to keep track of how their physical processes are progressing. This enables them to undertake preventative maintenance on their equipment and reduce downtime. 

Operational technology (OT) and information technology (IT) are brought together to accomplish this. Manufacturers are turning to the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) to gather critical information into how their OT is operating.

But there’s a catch. 

Increasing connectedness directly correlates with vulnerability to attacks. Most of the time, these hazards are usually overlooked. For instance, who gets access to data collected by devices on equipment that can be read remotely? What will happen if hackers get their hands on this information?

Many OT assets are unprepared to deal with today’s dangers. Some of these assets are ancient legacy systems that communicate through proprietary protocols. As a result, unless the owners take them offline, they won’t be able to get remote updates. However, doing so jeopardizes the availability of their physical processes.

Another danger for machinery producers is intellectual property (IP) theft. How secure is the program in terms of copying and tampering? Is this level of protection acceptable if the equipment is used somewhere far from the manufacturer’s control? 

For this reason, it’s becoming challenging to maintain the security of these assets as they go online.

Preparing for the Inevitable

In the following years, industrial machinery and equipment will lead several major manufacturing trends. This includes converting to clean energy and environment-friendly fuel production.

With the increased cyber-attack on this equipment, it’s a must to safeguard them. Remember that data and system security are only part of the problem when equipment is hacked. People’s physical health is also at risk with machine and equipment failure.

That’s why machinery professionals should concentrate on the critical foundations of cybersecurity.

A System’s Security Is More Vulnerable Than Ever

IT and OT systems are usually thought of as different entities. Attackers are increasingly focusing their efforts on disabling important networks. As a result, sophisticated ransomware assaults can spread quickly from system to system. 

Businesses must take a comprehensive view of all important systems and security technologies. This is so they can reduce the risk of a successful attack impairing productivity. Manufacturing firms are only as safe as their most vulnerable ICS or outdated piece of machinery.

Put Cybersecurity on the Agenda

Cybersecurity is the same thing as corporate security. Cyberattacks result in devastating financial, legal, and reputational ramifications. This means that the board of directors is not prioritizing cybersecurity risks. That’s why key stakeholders should report directly to a board-level position.

Integrate Security Throughout the Machine’s Lifecycle

Internal operations usually are the first thing management teams prioritize to secure. However, that’s not enough for a successful industrial cybersecurity measure. 

Companies should also consider the growing number of attacks affecting machinery and equipment. Not only physical machines but also digital ones. What they need to do is to understand how cybersecurity solutions and processes affect each machine. 

When done correctly, this yields results all the way up the value chain. Ignoring this puts systems and data in danger, as well as client relationships.

Digital Problems are Solved Through Digital Means: The Use of AI

Identifying issues in electromechanical components have always been the focus of equipment and appliance maintenance. However, as these devices get more sophisticated, they become more vulnerable to cyber-attacks. 

Cyber-threats can range from a basic ransomware assault to a denial-of-service (DDoS) attack. Apart from cyber dangers, there is also the potential of software corruption and equipment failure. Identifying these problems can be done through machine learning-based vulnerability detection. 

Additionally, hackers are becoming more skilled and finding new methods to penetrate equipment security. For this reason, there is a need for further research on cyber security risks to uncover new types of attacks.

Although companies produce AI-based cybersecurity, it still has some limitations. It’s challenging to employ machine learning techniques to forecast emerging threats. They still need training models that use current data. 

Unsupervised learning approaches such as cluster analysis can be used to detect anomalies. However, they may not be able to forecast the type of danger with accuracy. This implies that the problems won’t be immediately addressed. Furthermore, there is a higher risk of false positives, which can cause security teams to lose trust in such procedures.

Is There a Need to Improve Industrial Machinery’s Cybersecurity in 2022?

The short answer is, yes.

The long answer is, as technology becomes more advanced throughout the years, so are cyber-attackers. Cybersecurity teams should improve visibility and network segmentation across IT and OT infrastructure. 

All of their efforts should focus on detecting unusual behavior as quickly as possible. In addition to this, they need to segregate networks to minimize hackers’ ability to move laterally inside the network. New research focusing on how these machines and equipment are attacked should also be prioritized.

Cyber resilience is not a one-time project. Like any other thing connected to the internet, industrial machinery is always prone to cyber-attacks. The need to secure them against digital attacks is a never-ending process since the threat landscape is continually evolving.

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