Due to the inherent way they operate, manufacturing sites are faced with a unique set of challenges that many other organizations don’t have to deal with. This puts manufacturers in a burdensome position of having to implement robust integrated security solutions to ensure around-the-clock protection.
While this is undoubtedly a laborious task, it is still achievable and can be effective even without having a sky-high budget. In this article, we’ll discuss the best manufacturing security solutions and OT security solutions, and share the top tips for establishing secure manufacturing.
This will help your organization identify potential weak spots and security risks, as well as ensure protection against intruders, vandals, and other physical and virtual threats.
Why Is Manufacturing Security Important?
Manufacturing sites typically cover an expansive area, often divided into several sections or spread across multiple buildings. They also see a lot of traffic, as employees are constantly circulating between these adjacent locations. In line with that, these sites also have numerous access points.
All of these aspects create plenty of weak points with an inviting environment malicious actors can exploit. From physical attacks that can result in product or equipment theft to data attacks, cyber-attacks, and information leakage, manufacturers are presented with a plethora of threats.
In addition to the risk manufacturers are potentially taking upon themselves with lackluster security, the damage they can incur spreads much wider than this. Penalties for noncompliance from regulators and diminished brand reputation in the market can cause irreversible damage to manufacturers who suffer a security incident. Taking all of this into account, it’s crucial to ensure operational technology access control to maintain OR device security.
Manufacturing Security Solutions
When it comes to the types of manufacturing security solutions, we can group all of the measures into two distinct categories — physical security and cybersecurity. The OT security services included in these categories are often seen as separate efforts, although integrating the two forms is the only way to ensure uncompromising manufacturing security.
That said, while the two forms are unquestionably intertwined, we’ll analyze them through individual lenses to get a more in-depth perspective into their contribution to ensuring secure manufacturing.
Physical security encompasses measures to protect physical assets and has a twofold role. It acts as a deterrent and as a detection tool. With that in mind, a well-rounded manufacturing physical security system consists of multiple layers. Depending on its extent, physical security can be very expensive to implement. A fine-tuned physical security system can include the following manufacturing security solutions:
- Security Cameras — These supervision tools enable organizations to closely observe the manufacturing and enhance security. They can be outfitted around the entire site, ensuring around-the-clock protection and secure manufacturing.
- Alarm Systems — Modern alarm systems are a must-have feature for every manufacturing plant. They protect your employees, products, and equipment from any trespassers or thieves.
- Manufacturing Access Control Products — Products like locks, key cards, intercoms, or device authentication tools serve as great access control systems manufacturers can use for preventing unauthorized access. These manufacturing access control tools act as deterrents against thieves, but also ensure cyber protection as they prevent intruders from getting into the workspace and accessing valuable information.
Just like physical security protects the organization’s physical assets, digital security, or cybersecurity, protects digital assets from theft or unauthorized access. However, as cyber security in the manufacturing industry isn’t dependent on location, it faces an entirely different set of challenges in terms of intrusion detection and prevention systems.
According to some recent stats, ransomware attacks struck 56% of manufacturing companies surveyed at the start of 2023. Only one in four of these companies had sufficient security abilities to mitigate the damage of the attack before their data was encrypted.
Even more worryingly, in 32% of the surveyed cases, the attackers not only encrypted the data but also managed to steal it. More than a third of manufacturers paid ransoms in an effort to retrieve their encrypted data.
These numbers show that manufacturing cyber security risks have become a common occurrence in this sector. And, as this industry is one of the most targeted ones, it only points to the importance of establishing proper digital security solutions. To do so, organizations should ideally cover all five types of manufacturers cyber security:
- Critical Infrastructure Security — Utilizing cyber security measures, critical infrastructure security protects essential infrastructures like energy, water, and communication systems from attackers and damage from natural disasters. This makes it one of the most vital OT cyber security tools for ensuring resource and data protection in manufacturing overall, as every organization should ensure their critical infrastructure is impenetrable.
- Application Security — This type of cyber-secure manufacturing protection focuses on safeguarding the organization’s software from potential breaches. To do so, application security is focused on prevention, with the aim of detecting software vulnerabilities before attackers can do so and exploit them.
- Network Security — In the modern world, almost all organizations rely on online systems and networks to conduct their business operations. Network security protects and defends these networks from misuse, online fraud, illegal access, and other threats by utilizing tools like firewalls, antivirus software, and strong encryption.
- Cloud Security — This type of computer security protects cloud-based systems and data from various cloud-based threats. As cloud technology has become an integral part of the business landscape, cloud security safeguards valuable cloud-based resources using tools like multi-factor authentication, identity management, intrusion detection, and others.
- IoT Security — This digital manufacturing security solution protects all devices and networks that connect to the Internet. In other words, IoT security focuses on monitoring risks, identifying threats, and protecting data exchanged between devices.
The Importance of Zero-Trust Infrastructure
Considering the physical and digital solutions for ensuring product and information security in the manufacturing industry, there’s one more security framework that plays a vital role in minimizing security risks and protecting the manufacturing workplace — zero trust architecture (ZTA).
Zero trust challenges the conventional security approach by assuming no trust in any user or device. This method can be invaluable for manufacturers, as it strictly controls access to the organization’s critical infrastructure. Zero trust prevents malicious actors from obtaining unauthorized access and potentially getting ahold of the manufacturer’s hardware or software.
To ensure maximum protection, zero trust works through periodical identification, verification, and authorization. The best way to do so is through an identity and access management solution alongside a zero trust network access solution.
Once established, the same zero trust architecture can later be extended past the manufacturing process. For instance, it can be expanded to cover the supply chain, ensuring maximum security for other partners, not just the manufacturer.
Safety Improvement Ideas
If you want to secure all authentication and access across your manufacturing enterprise, Hideez Authentication Service, we have a solution for both IT and OT networks. We present a versatile IAM system, enabling seamless digital and physical access to information systems and workstations through the use of Hideez Keys.
These wearable security tokens empower employees to verify their identity in seconds, offering a 200% faster process for tasks such as locking/unlocking endpoints and accessing local or cloud applications.
This single device has the capability to replace traditional logins, passwords, one-time codes, smart cards, and other verification tools. Compatible with both legacy and modern systems, the solution can be customized to meet the specific needs of your organization.
By streamlining authentication, Hideez Keys not only enhance security but also significantly boost overall productivity. Start your free 30-day trial right now.