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Digitalization Makes Industrial Sector Vulnerable to Cyber Security Threats

According to the EY report, robotic process automation (RPA) and advanced analytics are expected to have the most significant impact on the industry over the next five years. 20% of companies’ executives believe it carries the most risk in light of the associated cybersecurity threat. BDO Australia forecasts hackers will initiate at least five global cyberattacks on PDO with constant damage to production facilities by 2020.

It is with growing concern that hackers are increasingly targeting operational technology (OT), essential for availability, production and safety of critical infrastructure. Attacks against OT have ballooned from 5% to 30% in the last few years. Energy companies make up a majority of these attacks so far, – a spike driven by aging assets, outdated security practices and increased connectivity. The more digitally complex and interconnected modern systems become the more vulnerable they get.

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«Cyber security is a hot topic, althought, most of the solutions developed for industrial cyber security by now are more of a preventive actions. IioT solutions, like CNC-machines monitoring systems and others at production facilities now are usually diconnected from a global network and are functioning localy. Nevertheless, the future of interconnected manufacturing process is going more and more vulnerable towards the cyber attacks and we should get prepared, » – says Pavel Rastopshin, Managing Director of Finland based digital solutions vendor ZYFRA Group.

At the same time, the industrial cybersecurity market is expected to be valued at USD 22.79 Billion by 2023, growing at a CAGR of 8.6% from 2017 to 2023. The market has a huge potential across various industries, such as manufacturing, maintance, power and energy & utilities. The major factors driving the growth of the industrial cybersecurity market include the increasing government funding to improve the cybersecurity of the industrial environment and the growing incidents of data security breaches due to the rising number of connected devices in industrial control systems.

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«Digitalization is not only reshaping how the industrial sector functions, but is also causing companies to think differently about how they organize their workforce. Cybersecurity skills are considered the most important general skills required to accommodate digitalization», – said Rastopshin.

Zyfra focuses on the introduction of IIoT technologies, that is, connecting to the Internet machines, industrial robots and units to create a single information space at the enterprise. Company’s park of «connected» equipment is more than 8000 machines. The company works with more than 250 enterprises around the globe.

«Current trends show that manufacturers worlwide will continue to move forwards with digital instrumentation and control (I&C) upgrades and with new builds using digital I&C technology. The future of the industry will depend on solutions that comply with industry standards and that can provide a life cycle path for the long term operations. The use of digital systems at any enterprises and production facilities continues to increase, including the use of many non-standard information technology systems. It is vitally important that all such systems are properly secured against malicious actions. But the more challenging are problems of digitalization, the more profitable market gets,» – Rastopshin added.

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