The more the technology evolves, the more the industrial equipment is connected. These systems are therefore exposed to many threats from possible cyber-attacks. To better protect themselves from these potential risks, factories must develop cybersecurity solutions. They must also enable design offices, integrators, installers, operators and maintenance operators to learn good practices pto deal with malicious acts aiming at installations.
Cyber-attacks: a new concern for industrial players
Twenty years ago, factories made a point of honour to look after the good functioning of their machines to ensure the production of manufactured goods, the energy production, the petrochemistry or water treatment. This task was mainly for automation engineers and computer scientists.
Today, the industrial players concerns have changed. Facilities are now computerized and interconnected with information systems. The Internet is at the heart of the manufacturing processes of factories by enabling communication between each link in the production and supply chains, tools and workstations.
Despite manufacturing flexibility and increased productivity, industry players now must deal with cyber-attacks that continually threaten communication, platforms operation and software. These malicious acts can lead to stoppage of production in an untimely or worse: to the destruction of the industrial system.
Threats more and more present
Cyber-attacks have already proven themselves. For example, in late 2014, the German authorities found that a cyber threat had managed to neutralize one of their steel mills. Many automats were then destroyed preventing a blast furnace to close.
Another example: on December 23, 2015, malicious software had damaged the Ivano-Frankivsk power plant in Ukraine. 225,000 users had experienced power cuts for six hours.
“In 2016, in the world, over 50% of industrial sites with fewer than 250 employees have suffered a cyber security incident”
Today, cyber-attacks are affecting more and more small and medium enterprises. Indeed, according to a survey of Usine Nouvelle, over 50% of industrial sites with fewer than 250 employees have suffered a cyber security incident in 2016.
Our cluster supports industries in protecting them against cyber threats
To combat these attacks, ECC4iu aims to bring dynamics and to participate in the raising of skills and know-how levels in the cybersecurity field of industrial systems.
The main vocation of our cluster is to federate all the players in cybersecurity of industrial systems by bringing them together in a trusted ecosystem. ECC4iu informs industries on the different solutions to face cyber-attacks while promoting the exchange and sharing of information, good practices and feedback.
We provide opportunities to industry players and start-ups to interact with software providers and equipment manufacturers to develop a comprehensive response to cyber threats. It is currently essential that professionals can both be aware of the potential risks to their systems and build skills in terms of good practices to adopt.