Industrial control systems (ICS) will be under threat of being infiltrated by cyber criminals says the Allianz Global Corporate & Speciality group. The company supply companies with insights into risk factors and how that might impact their future business. They have  now released a press release to warn engineers that they might want to put extra security measures into their industrial control systems as Industrie 4.0 continues to grow into an interconnected network of industry. 

EIT Stock Image"Continuous monitoring and predictive maintenance of automated production lines will reduce small scale frequency losses and increase equipment lifetime. Supply chains will be better monitored, more predictable and visible with improved tracking options and losses reduce from spoilage or expiration," said Michael Bruch, Head of Emerging Trends at AGCS. 

Nigel Pearson, global head of fidelity at AGCS said: "A number of ICS still used by manufacturing and utility companies today were designed at a time before cyber security become a priority issue." This has been proven by the taking down of a utility's power in the Ukraine. AGCS also point out that cyber-attacks have also happened on the Israel National Electricity Authority and recently a German nuclear power plant was also targeted. 

The AGCS's concerns were published in a magazine named Global Risk Dialogue which focuses on "corporate risks and insurance", cyber risks and smart factories. "Overall loss potential is rising significantly, creating high accumulation potential with larger and more complex claims," Bruch added. 

Warning factories is all good and well, however, what measures can these factories take to protect their industrial control systems from being attacked? 

Kaspersky group have been quite vocal about the fact that they are working around the clock on securing smart factories and their Industrial Internet of Things networks. The United States Industrial Control Systems Cyber Emergency Response Team has detailed what areas to look at and secure in their own attempts to influence more security in smart-factories. They say: "Organizations should isolate ICS networks from any untrusted networks, especially the internet. All unused ports should be locked down and all unused services turned off. Organizations should also limit remote access functionality wherever possible. Modems are especially insecure."

"An ICS may be interconnected with other systems, such that failures in one system or process can easily cascade to other systems within or external to the organization. Impact propagation could occur due to both physical and logical dependencies," said the US National Insitute of Standards and Technology.

For now, the advice is lock-down on any internet-connected items while you can and hope that a cyber attack doesn't happen. Companies are releasing their Industrial Internet of Things packages that will include security. Some factories have tried to be ahead of the game and bought unsecured industrial setups that were taken down by hackers, as we have seen in the last year and a half. However, there are steps a factory can take by themselves but soon the security will be done by a third party and you won't have to worry about it. There on out you will be able to reap the benefits of using the Industrial Internet of Things. 

Source: AGCS & ZDnet