After the announcement of “Industry 4.0,” ‘Smart Factories’ have emerged as an important topic in the IoT era. To develop a Smart Factory, tens of thousands of sensors are required and it is necessary to track down the location of parts in real time while collecting and analyzing data before proceeding to the automation process.
Complex and precise industrial management systems remain vulnerable to malicious attacks by hackers. Malfunctions of certain facility parts can compromise safety and quality of products. They can even lead to severe personal injuries and property damage. To solve this problem, an organization was established to respond to Smart Factory security threats. In 2008 in the U.S. and Korea, the Smart Factory Group was organized to deal with security issues.
Building smart factories is a substantial endeavor for organizations. The initial steps involve understanding what makes them unique and what new advantages they offer. However, a realistic view of smart factories also involves acknowledging the risks and threats that may arise in its converged virtual and physical environment.
As with many systems that integrate with the industrial internet of things (IIoT), the convergence of information technology (IT) and operational technology (OT) in smart factories allows for capabilities such as real-time monitoring, interoperability, and virtualization. But this also means an expanded attack surface. What’s more, cyberthreats in converged environments can directly translate to physical scenarios.
IIoT security, therefore, plays a crucial role in creating and operating smart factories. But how should it be implemented? Identifying the building blocks of IIoT security is key to answering this question.