The internet of things touches every facet of business today and manufacturing is no exception. Industry 4.o, smart manufacturing and the Internet of Things (IOT) are all ways of describing the intersection of operational technology and information technology to monitor physical processes within manufacturing and use data to make predictive , corrective and adaptive decisions to improve operational cost. Industry 4.o refers to the fourth industrial revolution and specifically the move towards smart manufacturing. The National Institute of Standards and Technology defines smart manufacturing as fully integrated collaborative manufacturing systems that respond in real-time to meet changing demands and conditions in the factory and the supply network and in customer needs.

Cyber security threats

Along with the new manufacturing technologies come brand new cyber security concerns. Most manufacturers today put cyber security at the very top list of concerns whereas it was a very minor concern just a few short years ago. The cyber attack makes manufacturing devices accessible to unauthorized individuals. The goal of cyberattacking is to steal personal details of end clients, disruption of work to cause dramatic losses and to steal intellectual property to gain a competitive advantage over competitors. In each case the stakes are high and manufacturers should do everything possible to mitigate the risks associated with digital transformation in manufacturing.

Best practises of manufacturing cyber security 

• Follow the regulations

Imposing heavy regulations can make companies vulnerable to vulnerabilities. While regulations aim to strengthen security, they sometimes pose an undue burden on organizations.

• Implement encryption and strict access control

It is important to ensure the confidentiality and integrity of the data that can be accessed through corporate systems. Some encryption methods include; symmetric encryption algorithms, hybrid encryption schemes, cryptographic hash functions, digital signature, public key infrastructure and key distribution of protocols for identity and context distribution of protocols for identity and context based control.

• Use intrusion detection systems

Smart factories must have devices that can react to any abnormal behavior and thus prevent intrusion attempts coming both from outside and inside the organizational network.

• Prevent human factor

Hiring skilled personnel and giving them regular training can prevent vulnerabilities due to human factors.

• Have a response and recovery plan in place

If an attract happens there should be a plan to resume operations as soon as possible. Immediate response is only possible through respective plans in place. Having a plan can minimize losses in production, equipment and reputation.