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How machine builders can help manufacturers protect against cyber hacks

04 September 2023

Here, Stephen Hayes, Managing Director at Beckhoff UK, explores the risks that surround using complex software for automation – and how machine builders can mitigate these risks.

Cybersecurity is becoming increasingly important in the manufacturing industry as the use of technology and connectivity grows. With the rise of the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), manufacturers are vulnerable to cyberattacks that can result in data breaches, production disruptions, and even physical harm to employees.

According to a report by IBM, the industrial manufacturing sector had the second-highest number of cyberattacks in 2020, accounting for 10 percent of all incidents. Additionally, it experienced a 156 percent increase in attacks against cloud-based servers compared with the previous year. In the same year, the average cost of a data breach in the manufacturing sector was $4.99 million.

Machine builders are already taking a proactive approach towards cybersecurity, to help mitigate the growing risks. This includes implementing security measures such as firewalls, access controls, and encryption protocols. Builders are designing equipment with security in mind from the outset, rather than retroactively adding security features.

The importance of cybersecurity in industrial equipment cannot be overstated. As we continue to rely more heavily on technology, it is crucial that security is prioritised and everyone, from original equipment manufacturers to end users, takes proactive measures to prevent cyberattacks. 

Read the full article in DPA's September issue

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