Manufacturing AUTOMATION

Features Cybersecurity Week Security
Webinar recap: Securing the manufacturing value chain


Photo: Tetiana Lazunova/Getty Images

Digital innovation in manufacturing is causing increased risk when it comes to cybersecurity, due in part to the number of connected devices providing entry points to attackers.

But if gaining visibility into operations through digitization is critical to long-term competitiveness, how can manufacturers protect their plants from cyber threats?

To answer that question, Manufacturing AUTOMATION and Fortinet partnered on Oct. 20 to present a free¬†webinar, Securing the Manufacturing Value Chain, as part of MA‘s Cybersecurity Week (Oct. 19-23).

During the presentation, Richard K. Peters (Rick), CISO, operational technology North America at Fortinet, discussed how to secure IoT devices while maintaining operational efficiency, continuity of operations, product integrity and compliance.

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Peters explained that as manufacturing value chain becomes increasingly digitized from the design process through to engineering and prototyping, the production line, warehousing and distribution and eventually retail, the risk of exposure to cyber attacks increases.

“All of these processes are gaining purposeful automation and purposeful connectivity. And that’s where you start to see that convergence of IT and OT coming together,” Peters said. “We do have to think about protecting each of these points in our business, because they become ways in for the adversary.”

When processes are digitized, networks become more dynamic and the attack surface gets bigger, creating billions of “security edges” that can be penetrated by attackers. In addition, threats are becoming more and more sophisticated, and remote connections are opening up further possibilities for breaches.

“The impact is the loss,” Peters said. “Downtime, depending on the industry, equates to large losses. The challenge is being able to sustain your business despite an event and be able to manage the impact and the level of disruption that occurs as a result of that.”

Peters revealed how manufacturers can establish a security framework that covers users, devices, networks, applications and cloud to guide their cybersecurity response.

He also shared how this framework helped an automotive manufacturer deploy a firewall system into its OT environment to monitor network traffic and behaviour on the shop floor.

Want to know more? Watch the free webinar recording by registering here.