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Industrial Cybersecurity as a Top Priority for Motion Control

industrial cybersecurity motion controlWe're all familiar with hackers exploiting cybersecurity vulnerabilities in large, international companies and gaining access to valuable corporate or private data. Industrial cybersecurity often isn’t a priority, but with the increased connectivity of industrial machines comes increased security weaknesses.

According to Ray Chalmers in a recent MCMA webinar, there’s a new attack every single day. And what's even more concerning: it will never stop. Industrial cybersecurity is vitally important for the safety of workers and consumers, as well as the integrity of products that are made in the industrial sector.

How Has the Motion Control Industry Responded to Industrial Cybersecurity Concerns?

Industrial cybersecurity has come to the attention of several influential companies, and solutions are constantly being developed. Jay Abdallah, Global Director of Cybersecurity Solutions at Schneider Electric, says that cybersecurity concerns have changed the way they develop software.

Attacks are getting more sophisticated and growing in volume, according to Abdallah. They often aim to cause as much damage as possible within the critical infrastructure space. This is why Schneider Electric implements layer one security controls at the lowest layers of technical controls, while implementing procedures to build on existing security infrastructures to protect against intrusions.

What Can You Do to Improve Industrial Cybersecurity in Your Application?

The most important step in any cybersecurity upgrade is a comprehensive assessment of current cybersecurity vulnerabilities. This information helps provide a roadmap to better security, justify the costs of an upgrade and reveal the potential dangers of not taking action.

There are a few public-private partnerships, such as the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the U.S. Department of Commerce, as well as the National Cybersecurity Center of Excellence (NCCoE). These organizations provide thought leadership in cybersecurity and can help you improve security at your facility.

Cybersecurity is not just an IT problem. It’s a concern the moment critical infrastructure is selected and purchased and continues to be a concern throughout the lifetime of the equipment. Your facility’s cybersecurity is dependent on supply chain partners, too. One weak link in the supply chain could compromise everyone’s production data.

Industrial cybersecurity is rarely a top priority for manufacturers – the focus is on increasing productivity. But there’s a lot at stake, and industrial cybersecurity should be on the mind of every manufacturer.

To learn more and improve industrial cybersecurity at your facility, watch our free archived webinar, “Keeping Connected Applications Secure.”

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