Old machines, insecure internet connections
“Security gaps can arise when machines are connected to the internet. Modern production equipment will be computer controlled, often requiring a connection to the internet for maintenance and quality control purposes. The security of this connection can be crucial to the security of the whole facility,” says Stanley. However, many companies continue to rely on older equipment that cannot be easily replaced due to high costs. Such machines can be particularly vulnerable when upgraded to a digital control system as security compromises may need to be made. The long life span of these machines in contrast to rapidly changing IT operating systems makes it difficult to maintain security of these OT systems. A sound OT cyber risk analysis is the best way to start the process of increasing the cybersecurity maturity in these automated and networked systems.
Offline systems can also be attacked
Even non-networked industrial operations can become victims of malware or data theft. “A USB interface is sufficient to allow a non-internet connected system to be infected with destructive malware,” explains Stanley. Modern OT equipment provides more control and efficiency in many businesses but there are still far too many companies that don’t address these specific cyber risks.
TÜV Rheinland is a global leader in independent inspection services, founded nearly 150 years ago. The group maintains a worldwide presence of more than 20,000 people; annual turnover is EUR 2 billion. The independent experts stand for quality and safety for people, technology and the environment in nearly all aspects of life. TÜV Rheinland inspects technical equipment, products and services, oversees projects, and helps to shape processes and information security for companies. Its experts train people in a wide range of careers and industries. To this end, TÜV Rheinland employs a global network of approved labs, testing and education centers. Since 2006, TÜV Rheinland has been a member of the United Nations Global Compact to promote sustainability and combat corruption. Website: www.tuv.com
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