Digital Factories & Cyber Security: two sides of the same coin

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The irreversible digitalisation process of the manufacturing sector, born of the technological evolution of recent years, exposes industrial assets to vulnerabilities and threats that undermine the security and integrity of systems and the privacy of information.

The convergence between the productive systems (OT, Operational Technology) and the virtual world of information (IT, Information Technology) raises many problems related to the computer security of industrial automation and control systems (IACS, Industrial Automation Control Systems).

Before the relatively recent spread of Internet technologies in the industrial sector, IACS systems – including the control systems (ICS), distributed control systems (DCS), data acquisition systems (SCADA) and PLCs – were an ideal world in which we had to deal with “closed” systems operating on separate networks with no connection to public communication infrastructures. The spread of internet technologies (IoT, Internet of Things) and the consequent increase in connectivity have subtracted the control systems from the condition of isolation, opening the doors to possible IT vulnerabilities.

The evolution of the industrial market and the birth of new services related to digital technologies have made it necessary to open access to control systems to the outside. This is increasingly true if we put the discussion in the context of the factory 4.0 in which all objects and machines are by definition intelligent components integrated into a totally interconnected and distributed infrastructure, intrinsically open to the outside, which however exposes the critical apparatus to well known Cyber ​​Security issues.

We will talk about industrial safety 4.0 and how to avoid errors in the computer industry, proposing tools and solutions for the Cyber ​​Security of industrial control systems.