Shop floor cyber-security | you are under attack
Shop floor cyber-security
Hackers and malicious users have traditionally focused on attacking the higher-level business PCs, however now there are some signs they are increasing the scope of their focus to include shop floor systems. To this end, improving shop floor cyber-security has become critical.
Whether blackmailing businesses or causing disruption, cybercrime is on the increase. Process based industries have realised that cybercrime can mean the loss of important product knowledge and Intellectual Property. Notably, the threat of cyber terrorism means production and important plant can result in significant consequential losses. Many manufacturing organisation and Government bodies throughout the developed world are raising awareness of the importance of shop floor cyber-security.
It would be wrong to suggest that there is a perfect system which guarantees full protection of all concerned. The fact is all systems are vulnerable. Risk management requires an understanding of the nature of a threat, and its potential damage before developing sensible precautions.
Shop floor cyber-security: Assume you are under attack
Computers dominates the world of business. In reality, they interact or control every aspect of our lives. making them a target for a minority of people with malicious intent.
However, technologies such as the PC are most frequently targeted. They can be in the offices or on the shop-floor. The primary reason for this is access and availability. Precautions should include staff education, hardware and software tools, but this is an ongoing process needing constant maintenance and monitoring. So, is there another way of addressing shop floor cyber-security? Mitsubishi Electric says there is.
Why not simplify the control system architecture? For example, by allowing the high-reliability and high-availability shop floor PLCs and PACs to interface directly with management and ERP level systems.
Removing the weaker PC layer technology controlling gateway, protects the system reliability/availability. Without shop-floor PCs there is no requirement to maintain operating systems and virus checkers. As a result, the reduction in system complexity means lower engineering costs.
Mitsubishi Electric’s MES, MES IT and C Connector solutions bring a range of flexible solutions to do achieve this. They provide connectivity directly to almost any higher-level system including DB2, Oracle and SAP.
Control Platform reduces vulnerabilities
To increase system flexibility and resilience to some shop floor vulnerabilities Mitsubishi Electric has developed a platform control concept. The flexibility of the control platforms combines PAC based technologies with traditional PLCs, robotics, NC control. An open C based control philosophy is available for C++ applications.
Secure your IT
IT security usually starts and stops with the server or PC itself. To this end, Mitsubishi Electric is working with one of its e-F@ctory Alliance partners to bring a new dimension and definition to a secure manufacturing PC environment. This secure hypervisor systems provides protection between the different systems running on the client device.
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