Cybersecurity Protection in Industrial 4.0

Oct. 6, 2023
Managed industrial Ethernet switches can protect against cybersecurity attacks

The current transformation of traditional industrial practices is usually called Industrial 4.0. Industrial 4.0 has advanced manufacturing processes using technologies like Big Data, AI, Virtual Reality, and more. However, due to the connectivity of Industry 4.0, and fewer solitary industrial systems, more sophisticated cybersecurity is needed as part of industrial control systems (ICS). These previously isolated systems have now become connected to Ethernet-based networks, which leaves them open to the internet and potential cyberattacks.

There are many ways to improve overall cybersecurity including: segment OT and It, multi-factor authentication, secure applications, stronger passwords, firewalls, and the list goes on. To help spot and hopefully prevent an attack it is imperative to monitor and examine endpoint AV/EDR logs and traffic logs, check domain controllers for increased burst activity and protocol communications for strange network behavior, and look at communications between PLCs and internal/external destinations.

Industrial Ethernet switches are primary parts of connectivity for industrial processes used in production facilities, utilities, manufacturing plants, and other areas of importance. Issues with these switches are the use of default passwords, hard-coded encryption keys, etc. These flaws can be even more detrimental with unmanaged industrial switches, while managed Ethernet switches have higher protection due to features like enhanced password encryption, MAC security, etc.

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