Mitigating cyber risks to accelerate innovation

As the world continues to rapidly adapt to modern solutions, industries are also exposing themselves to potential digital risks. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

As the world continues to transition into the digital age, terms such as Industry 4.0, Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and smart manufacturing are no longer just buzzwords, but are modern solutions that many industries are integrating. in their operations.

A 2021 McKinsey & Company survey indicates that 94% of respondents from global manufacturing companies have been able to maintain operations during the pandemic, attributing this achievement to Industry 4.0. More than half of them also said technology had played a crucial role in responding to the situation.

With the rapid acceleration of supply chain digitalization due to the Covid-19 pandemic, recent studies show that we have made a five-year leap in the adoption of digital commerce, with manufacturers actively developing plans for “extinct” factories and supply chains.

In the Philippines, which aims to rank 43rd in the World Intellectual Property Organization’s Global Innovation Index (GII) in 2022, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) continues to roll out its plans for Industry 4.0. Its plans include creating more globally competitive and innovative industries, as well as promoting inclusive, sustainable and resilient industrial development by adopting and embracing Industry 4.0 technologies.

However, as the world continues to rapidly adapt to modern solutions, industries are also exposing themselves to potential digital risks.

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The industrial edge enables resilience

A key driver of resiliency in manufacturing environments has been distributed computing environments, including edge data centers, to improve speed and reduce latency with this increase in data from connected products. For industrial operators to reap the benefits of this digitization and automation, CIOs are deploying state-of-the-art data centers in manufacturing environments to ensure they have the capacity to capture this additional amount of data.

On-premises edge data centers are used to enable these network-connected endpoints. As a distributed model that uses various IIoT devices and systems, the computation, aggregation, and analysis happens at the physical site instead of being sent to a server located at a centralized site or in the cloud.

Cybersecurity best practices

By practicing these tactics, users are able to establish a well-integrated system, develop and maintain secure systems and operations, configure devices to disable any insecure protocols, and ultimately reduce vulnerability and the risk of violation.

Selection criteria. The Security Development Lifecycle (SDL) was developed to consider security and privacy concerns throughout the software development process. A properly integrated SDL process could reduce vulnerabilities and coding errors with the necessary mitigations to secure the application, device, and system, while improving software and firmware reliability. Another globally accepted standard, IEC 62443, defines safety standards developed by industrial control experts. This standard specifies process requirements for the secure development of products used in industrial automation and control systems as well as in advanced computing applications. It defines an SDL for the purpose of developing and maintaining secure products. This lifecycle includes defining security requirements, secure design, secure implementation, verification and validation, defect management, patch management, and product end of life.

Secure network design. As edge computing evolves and grows, so does the design of network security for devices and systems operating at the edge. Securing access to the edge should only include providing access to resources through encrypted tunnels such as VPN and the proper implementation of firewalls and access control systems. Other categories of best practices for securing networks and the edge include defense-in-depth methodology and network segmentation.

Device configuration. Before an embedded device or software-based system is used in an edge application, proper analysis must be performed to understand how the system communicates and how the system performs in the use case required by the customer to operate at the periphery. Best practices for device configuration include performing vulnerability assessments upon receipt of the device, verifying that the device can be configured to disable all insecure protocols, and finally, ensuring that all Device patches and updates are current before final deployment.

Operation and maintenance to reduce the risk of breaches. Although there may be specific best practices for particular applications, patch management, vulnerability management, and penetration testing are categories of best practices that apply to the operation and maintenance of all edge applications.

Edge Computing provides high-speed data delivery for edge applications critical to today’s business. It reduces network latency by processing and delivering needed information locally.

As the Philippines continues to embrace 4.0 technologies and advanced computing, with local businesses and institutions perceiving the advancement of technology as the second greatest economic opportunity through 2025, it is critical that industries can effectively navigate new systems and mitigate cyber risks.

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