Manufacturing has been aptly named a structure critical to our way of life by the Department of Homeland Security. This sector is integral to the foundation of our economic prosperity and access to goods needed for everyday life. At first glance, manufacturing may seem like an unlikely target for cyber security threats – but advancements in IoT connectivity have integrated networking and production in extraordinary ways.

This infrastructure increasingly relies on digitized Industrial Control Systems and IoT devices which, if compromised, can give direct access to invaluable intellectual property and physical operations controls. A perilous blend of remote, vendor-operated, and on-premises device connectivity have led to endpoints that are hard to define, let alone secure With manufacturing being a recently digitized industry, cybersecurity is increasingly falling upon the backs of IT workers who may or may not be trained.  And the previous strategy of moving systems offline is no longer viable in this connected age. This combination of untrained staff and endless attack vectors is obviously worrying.

Cyberattacks in manufacturing cause costly downtime, threatens valuable intellectual properties, and can cause changes in the physical operations of production.  Even a seemingly insignificant alteration in production can cause life-threatening changes to products vital to consumer safety, like car doors. These risks aren’t hypothetical – the examples are many. In 2017, HONDA had to shut down production after the infamous WannaCry worm brought one of their factories to a staggering halt, stalling the production of 1000 vehicles.

Identity Defined Networking is the solution this critical infrastructure requires. By overlaying cryptographic identities where spoofable IP addresses were once used, each device is authenticated before communication is allowed.  These new identities can be added to on-premises devices or in the cloud, ensuring that remote and vendor endpoints are both functional and secure. The result is a versatile network that fundamentally combines security seamlessly with networking.  This new way to network is simple, fast, secure, and already in practice.

For a deep dive into how we helped a manufacturing customer implement radical security in our point-and-click UI, you can view our in-depth case study here.

Friday, November 30, 2018 By oryx fairbanks