Industry 4.0 - Managing cybersecurity in connected manufacturing & supply chains

When physical and digital technologies merge, previously siloed security concepts must be unified - Security 4.0. This article gives system integrators an overview of what to consider.

Industry 4.0

McKinsey defines Industry 4.0 as the next phase in the digitization of the manufacturing sector, driven by a great rise in data volumes, computational power, and connectivity, and the emergence of analytics and business intelligence capabilities (BI), among other trends. This leads to new, groundbreaking approaches to using edge computing and IoT to connect a wide range of devices in production facilities, making them smarter than ever before, just as Azena is doing with security cameras.

Where there is light, there is also shadow. This also applies to the exciting technological evolution of Industry 4.0. With every new device and every machine connected in the IoT, the attack surface for cybercriminals also increases. The good news is that new security vulnerabilities in the production environment can usually be discovered quickly and fixed just as quickly if vendors and system integrators do their homework in Security 4.0, making IoT systems resistant to cyberattacks.

When it comes to the security of smart video technology in industrial environments, we at Azena aim to support integrators in implementing the most secure solutions.

What are the key attack surface points in IoT?

As with any other IoT system in industrial manufacturing, three main cybercrime attack points exist for connected video cameras used to monitor operations and plant security:

  • Devices: Vulnerabilities that can be used to gain criminal access to IoT systems may be located in memory, firmware, physical and web interface, and network services, but also in insecure default settings, outdated components, and insecure update mechanisms, among others.
  • Communication channels: Protocols used to connect devices can have security issues, making it easy for criminals to break into entire systems to steal or manipulate data. Further risks for connecting channels can arise from a denial of service (DoS) and spoofing attacks.
  • Applications and software: While in the past it was mainly firmware on networked devices that could be a point of attack for cybercriminals, in the age of edge computing and artificial intelligence, specialized apps must also be protected from manipulation by criminals.

In our previous blog article, we outlined 3 typical threats to IoT camera systems and asked security specialist Aleieldin Salem how Azena protects smart video cameras against attacks.

Threat #1: Steal data. By hacking into a video stream, criminals can, for example, analyze what's going on in buildings, stores, or public places to plan burglaries and other crimes.

Threat #2: Manipulate algorithms. Smart algorithms using Machine Learning and AI to analyze video data right in the cameras can be targets of external manipulation.

Threat #3: Hijack control. Hardware misconfiguration, weak setup of streaming protocols, and other flaws in system setup make it easy for attackers to gain control of devices.

The overall challenge in IoT security today and in the future, as in all other IT areas, is to stay one step ahead of the hackers or, at least, to respond quickly and effectively to attacks. To achieve this, we at Azena follow different approaches. Learn more about it in our blog article.

Industry 4.0 needs Cybersecurity 4.0

In converged physical and digital production environments, the two are still too often managed separately. It is not uncommon for an industrial plant to have a safety officer for each of the two worlds. With the IoT, however, functional technology and information technology are merging, so that (cyber) security must also be designed and operated as an integrated system. By analogy with Industry 4.0, this is called Security 4.0 and means that everything in your industrial security program will be interconnected. 

Security 4.0 is a major challenge, especially for system integrators who primarily think and plan in terms of hardware, or at least mentally silo hardware and software. This is not bad per se and can also lead to excellent results. However, it is critical that any cybersecurity strategy for the IoT covers both areas, hardware, and software, including data transmission in the cloud, and that security vulnerabilities are avoided through system design.

Regardless of the scale or the type of environment an IoT system is built into, security should be considered from the design phase to better integrate it in every aspect of the system — it should not be a mere accessory. - Trend Micro

Brief instructions for Security 4.0 by design

  • Establish a safety-first culture in your company and with customers and manufacturers. For successful cybersecurity in connected industrial environments, a deep understanding and full commitment from all parties involved are critical.
  • Integrate cybersecurity by design, using components from vendors that demonstrate a deep understanding of Security 4.0 and offer secure solutions. Learn how we protect Azena-enabled cameras against cyberattacks in our blog article.
  • Keep the data stream within a system lean to minimize the attack surface. The less data is transported, the lower the risk. IoT cameras equipped with AI video analytics do not provide vast amounts of raw data, but only lean analytics results.
  • Plan for continuous system analysis by using file integrity monitoring or other technologies that enable you to detect breaches in real-time and respond as quickly as possible.

A comprehensive practical guide to Security 4.0 would fill entire books, so here we offer just a few brief suggestions that we think are essential and worth discussing another time.

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