The importance of Data Security in Manufacturing

Chemical Industry Factory

Data Security

In 2022 there are roughly 29 billion connected devices in existence. It’s apparent that connected devices continue to increase, both posing many benefits but also presenting major security risks. As networks become more dynamic and continue to grow, it can be harder to identify and manage all the devices connected to them.

Unfortunately, critical infrastructure is particularly at risk, and with the 4th Industrial Revolution representing an extraordinary growth opportunity for manufacturing in general, it’s also made it clear how vulnerable cyber security can be. For example, a 2021 report highlighted that almost 50 percent of manufacturers fell victim to cyber attacks, with roughly a quarter suffering some financial loss or disruption.

In 2022 manufacturing is one of the most targeted sectors for cyber attacks. Yet, much of this vulnerability arises from industrial systems installed on plants. Whilst there is no change to the data collected, collated and used, the data management systems differ, resulting in an integration challenge to produce real time, meaningful information whilst protecting the asset.

Information Systems in Chemical Production

Implementing an Information System in a Chemical Production Area would traditionally have required the use of fibre optic cables, running along pipe bridges and underneath roads, to physically connect the chemical plants with a centralised computer.

Today a cheaper and more flexible option is available. Installing a private 5G network will allow you to collect data from more remote locations. For example, collecting air quality data from the top of industrial chimneys, or from selected locations downwind.

Data from trusted sources, e.g. IoT devices or Plant Control Systems, uses 5G to a Private cloud application sitting within the 5G network, and summary data sent to the public cloud for wider access. The benefits of using a private cloud are the ability to process large amounts of data as well as providing a faster response.

Sim to Sim the 5G network is fully secure, however, data sent from Sim to something else could result in potential points of weakness or gaps. The D-Sig Secure Data Connector software will secure the data, running within the clouds, and utilizing D-Sig hardware devices called Cryptographic Co-processors which protect both the data itself and the unique cryptographic private keys.

The D-sig system ensures data is completely secure from endpoint to endpoint, verifying the source of the data using certificates issued by the inbuilt Certification Authority. The D-Sig Certification Authority is customisable to enforce the existing Data Security Policy and protocols of your organisation.

Find out more about D-sig Certification Authority here.