Industry 4.0 has now fully taken hold, with machinery and processes becoming increasingly connected and autonomous. While this digital shift has increased efficiency and optimised outputs, there’s no doubt that this transformation has left businesses more vulnerable than ever before.
We’ve previously written about the inherent supply chain risk that is ubiquitous in today’s business world, which naturally also applies to industrial businesses. The goal of a hacker may be different when targeting an industrial organisation such as a factory or a power grid, but the effects can be just as – or more – serious.
For example, imagine a cyberattack from one of your organisation’s third parties. If the hack is targeting your business’s or your customer’s sensitive data, that can be incredibly damaging to your organisation. However, in industrial settings, hacks can target key machinery and equipment, bringing production to a halt or creating faulty products, which can be incredibly dangerous if they are not identified and taken out of the production line. Or, in the case of industry that serves Critical National Infrastructure purposes, such as a power plant or grid, this can cause outages and other potential issues.
In short, industrial organisations may not be prepared for the consequences of even a minor cyberattack. That is why it is imperative to ensure that industrial businesses have the ability to constantly monitor their cyber risks, adjusting their cybersecurity management and posture as necessary.
Cyber risks and threats are constantly evolving, meaning that cybersecurity can never be a point-in-time or once-a-year consideration. Industrial organisations may initially find it difficult to get on top of the breadth of their cyber considerations – especially considering that often industrial organisations use a combination of older and newer operational technology (OT) that can be difficult to secure. However, as Industry 4.0 continues to mature and advance, industrial organisations must prepare themselves against all cyberattacks, big and small.