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Safe Digitalization Principles for Manufacturing SMBs in face of COVID-19

Safe Digitalization Principles for Manufacturing SMBs in face of COVID-19

20 Mar 2020

In my previous blog post, I explained why this is the time for the SMB digital transformation. Today I will focus on how this digitalization process can be completed safely and efficiently.

Adopting Industry 4.0 inherently exposes the digitalizing multi-vendor, multi-generation cyber-physical systems (CPS) environment to nation-state developed, cyber offensive technology and cyber-criminal organizations. This growing cyber-crime economy is identifying CPS manufacturing as the next low-hanging fruit.

Enabling reliable, safe, and efficient digital production

When promoting Industry 4.0, traditional industries need a paradigm shift in their digital and cyber risk management approach. This will enable them to support their ongoing digitalization and production more effectively. When the industry adapts more digital and information-based processes and technologies, this comes with the risk of downtime that could be the result of human error, malfunction, or a cyber incident.

Manufacturing SMBs can develop a new risk management approach based on these critical assumptions:

  • Preventive risk management
    Employ a preventive approach because of potential safety and physical implications. This is absolutely mandatory, as you can no longer rely on a reactive risk mitigation strategy.

  • The repeating error: information security in operational environments
    Understand that IT security products and practices are irrelevant in a CPS environment.

  • Automation and orchestration
    Comprehensive automation of the digital and cyber risk processes eliminates the shortcomings of manual operations.

  • Digital twins
    Utilize production process CPS information and fuse it into digital twins to enable simulations of cyber-attack and digital failure. This will help to focus on maintenance and security efforts in accordance with their potential impact on operations.

  • Supply-chain risk management strategy
    Adopt and enforce a supply-chain risk management strategy. Make partners, third-party providers, and vendors subject to the same rigorous security measures and policies that protect against continuous threats to operational integrity.

  • Production continuity plan
    Even when the best-known security measures are carried out precisely, a breach may still occur. Place a well-trained team on call. They will use a practiced playbook and be available to restore the operational integrity of the CPS environment and place safety as the number one priority.

Selecting the best digital and cyber-security partner

Manufacturers need to select their security partners according to their digital maturity. This vendor needs to fully understand the specific complexities of the organization and be able to provide solutions that combine both human and technological driven services. Such vendors can be referred to as Digital and Security Risk Management as a Service (DSRMaaS).

The most appropriate vendors are those who can present the methodology and demonstrate proven experience along with a portfolio of services and technological solutions. Most importantly – they must understand CPS and manufacturing sensitivities so they can provide the highest quality and most cost-effective results.

Moving forward

“You cannot discover new oceans unless you have the courage to lose sight of the shore” (Andre Gide)

The effect of COVID-19 on humanity, the economy, and the supply of goods presents a unique opportunity for manufacturing SMBs in Europe, North America, and Latin America. Leaders recognizing this will need to let go of the traditional machinery “Industrial Economy” thinking and transform their organizations into the “Smart and Digital” Industrial age.

Manage the inherent digital and cyber risks which accompany this process and adopt the new CPS digital and cyber risk management approach. You will thereby enable manufacturing SMBs to not only maintain their market share but also to increase it once COVID-19 is contained.

The OTORIO way: creating a cyber-confident industry

OTORIO is an industrial-native, digital, and cyber risk-management solutions provider, ensuring reliable, safe, and efficient digital production. OTORIO empowers secured-by-design rollouts of industry 4.0 initiatives by making cyber-security an integral part of the operational life cycle. By automating, orchestrating, and simplifying complex digital and cyber-physical (IT-OT) security processes, OTORIO enables continuous management, qualification & remediation of production cyber risks based on their business impact, safety, reliability, and productivity.

OTORIO’s Industrial risk management suite

RAM², an industrial Security Orchestration Automation & Remediation platform (SOAR), enables quick asset inventory lifecycle management, contextualized to the operational process; automated and prioritized analysis of the cyber risks; simple remediation guidelines and playbooks; and a tailored workbench UX/UI for different stakeholders.

We provide a broad portfolio of cyber-expert services, including converged IT/OT environments Cyber Risk Assessment, Security Operations Center as a Service, Digital Threat Intelligence, Incident Response, Penetration Testing, and Training.

OTORIO empowers operational and automation engineers to take control of their ever-increasing digital risks, allowing industries to safely continue their digitalization journey.