Functional safety in times of rising cyber criminality Every production process has inherent risks. Cyber criminality is now one of these risks. To achieve the greatest possible degree of safety and security in production processes, it is extremely important for enterprises in the process industry to implement effective separation of their process control and safety systems, as required by standards for functional safety and cyber security. After all, a lot is at stake: the safety of employees, assets of the company and the environment.
A By Dr Alexander Horch, head of the R&D and Product Management business area at HIMA Paul Hildebrandt GmbH.
22 | Asia Pacific Security Magazine
sia is the manufacturing factory of the world. Plus, because of all the incoming investment and the establishment of high value manufacturing operations by MNCs, the advent of the Industrial Internet of Things in Asia is gaining ground. More businesses in the industrial sectors are leveraging the technology of digitalization for their manufacturing processes. Indeed, as manufacturing and trading volumes rise, cross border digital data transfer is increasing. There is no doubt that technology brings progress but on the other hand, there are also serious security concerns arising from the fact that as Asia becomes more connected digitally, it is becoming more open to cyber-attack. However, Asia is under-performing in the area of cyber security as compared to North America and Europe. A recent study found that most breaches never became public and discovery time on average is 520 days against a global average of 146 days. Industry analysts believe that the reasons for this trend is that there is low awareness of cyber security, a lack of regulations and enforcement, and even if there is a security framework in place, companies are implementing security
measures haphazardly rather than taking a holistic view. Thus, Asia is fast becoming the ideal environment for cyber criminals. Criminals will and have targeted high-value assets like plants and factories using more sophisticated and innovative ransomware. On top of locking up data, demanding a ransom, and threatening to release sensitive information, criminals have also developed an additional capability to find more lucrative and vulnerable individual targets in companies to enhance the chance of victims paying up. Recently, big companies like Hitachi, Nissan, Renault and Honda were targeted by cyber criminals. Honda was forced to stop production at its Sayama plant near Tokyo after finding the WannaCry ransomware in its computer network. The virus had infected networks across Japan and China, despite efforts to secure the systems. Nissan and Renault also stopped production at plants in Japan and India because of WannaCry. WannaCry had infected companies that were using aging technology and outdated software. Therefore, as the manufacturing industry in Asia embarks on a journey towards digital transformation, the management staff must be aware of the risks the region
Published on Sep 4, 2017
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