As technology expands at an increasingly high rate; robotics, conveyance and automatic guided vehicles have also increased in accuracy with less waste; so, what’re the next steps?
Although Supply Chain has required improvements in technologies, there are lots of systems and tools which can be deployed to monitor real-time information for real-time decision-making, connecting to Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES), Maintenance, Quality, and others. But with so many systems and software’s out there, how do you choose? This is exactly the question EVERYONE should be asking.
Firstly, As Industry 4.0, or digital transformation, continues to expand, there is a growing need to link and integrate business systems with manufacturing systems and shop-floor equipment. However, It is critical to note that this convergence between IT and OT carries risk because Industrial Control Systems (ICS), which are used in almost every machine or infrastructure – handling physical processes – are often unpatched and do not play nice with anti-virus software so they are highly susceptible to attacks. For OT organizations responsible for critical infrastructure, any hint of compromise needs to be taken very seriously. This is why it is time to get down to business to start planning to secure your environments.
While IT systems are mostly standardized, UDP/TCP/IP, OT systems use a wide array of protocols, many of which are specific to either function, industries, geography, etc. As IIoT devices become more common, external partner products present significant challenges to creating secure environments: there is a larger challenge to secure legacy systems. In effect, digital transformation efforts generate these structural problems, and these problems become exacerbated by poor IT security hygiene practices within OT environments. This is largely due to the insecure deployment of IIoT devices, a lack of visibility of the devices, or the interface of them through networks to business systems.
It is IMPORTANT that you understand that the enormous presence of unprotected IIoT devices is providing opportunities for threat actors.