Traditional production processes are increasingly inching towards the direction of Smart Factory and Industry 4.0. One defining characteristic of these new working environments is the interconnectivity of machines, facilities and products with each other and their networking with established back-office systems, such as MES (Manufacturing Execution System), PLM (Product Lifecycle Management), warehousing software or ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) solutions. Employees can get involved in this communication flow via mobile devices such as tablets, augmented reality and mixed reality peripherals.
The goal of a Smart Factory is to digitize the entire value chain, from product design down to manufacturing, sales and service. Through that, companies expect higher efficiency and speed as well as optimized logistics processes. The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) plays a crucial role in the Smart Factory. It is the bridge between two worlds:
- OT (Operational Technology) systems in production: These are, for example, sensors and embedded components in machines.
- IT systems: They are responsible for the management of product lifecycles, task management and connection to cloud services. Compared to the Internet of Things (IoT), an IIoT infrastructure must meet additional requirements within the manufacturing environment. These include low delay times (latency), so that real-time processes can run smoothly, as well as high availability and reliability. Security also plays an important role. Internal or external attackers cannot be allowed to hack or manipulate any IIoT components or software. Otherwise, disruptions of manufacturing processes or data theft are inevitable.
The Industrial Internet of Things, including OT and IT, requires a comprehensive and simultaneously practical security strategy. Otherwise, cyber criminals will have an easy time getting in. Mainstream tools such as a Public Key Infrastructure and new innovative solutions like the Secure Execution Environment have proven effective countermeasures.
Read about PrimeKey PKI, Signing Secure Execution Environment products that can be used in IIoT solutions:
This is an abstract from the PrimeKey white paper that takes a deep dive into Security for IIoT environments.