Protecting while connecting


With cybersecurity attacks on the rise in the manufacturing sector, machine builders are now designing industrial equipment with secure communication protocols in mind. This involves using encryption techniques to protect data transmission between equipment and other systems, as well as implementing secure authentication processes to prevent unauthorised access.

TwinCAT, from automation and control technology specialist Beckhoff UK, provides secure communication protocols in manufacturing by implementing the latest encryption technologies and authentication mechanisms to ensure data confidentiality, integrity and availability. It also supports various industrial communication standards, such as OPC UA and MQTT, which are known for their high level of security.

One of the most significant risks to industrial equipment is unauthorised access. Machine builders are now designing equipment with access controls to prevent unauthorised personnel from accessing critical systems. This can include using biometric authentication methods or smart card access systems.

For example, fingerprint or facial recognition technology can be used to ensure that only authorised personnel are able to access certain areas or equipment, helping improve overall safety in the manufacturing environment.

Now, machine builders are considering network segmentation when designing industrial equipment. This involves separating equipment into different networks, each with its own security protocols and access controls. This approach helps prevent cyber-attacks from spreading across the entire plant network in the event of a breach.

Networks are often split into zones, such as production, management and guest, and firewalls and access controls are being implemented to limit communication between these zones. Additionally, manufacturers are implementing security protocols such as encryption, multi-factor authentication and regular security audits to ensure their systems remain secure.

It’s clear to see how a cyber attack that starts off small can soon spread across an entire organisation and cause severe damage. Luckily, Beckhoff’s control technology, which can be used by both machine builders and end-users, incorporates various measures to enhance cyber security, such as secure communication protocols, access control mechanisms and encryption techniques. These measures aim to prevent unauthorised access, manipulation, or theft of data and ensure the safe and reliable operation of industrial control systems.


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