Security Practices for Industrial and Office Ethernet Networks

Security Practices for Industrial and Office Ethernet Networks

Enterprise Networking Mag | Thursday, April 04, 2019

The industrial sector makes rapid progress in digitalization, and the developments are noticeable. The landscape is evolving, and the communication is networked among companies from various backgrounds. The companies exchange data in real time between all parties involved in the company. Digitalization has connected all the production participants and paved the way for industry 4.0 or the industrial IoT. Ethernet is emerging as a significant form of communication standards because they provide an advantage over previous field buses. The transmission rate of data is higher and offers excellent reliability. The entire communication technology within a network can be brought to one unique standard. The time sensitive networking (TSN) that is progressively being equipped with AI contains an innumerable amount of sensors, devices, and systems, and has the potential to make their own decisions in the future.

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In the future, the isolated machine areas will have to be open and accessible for connecting to the outside world. To protect the data and advancements, there is an increase in the need for cybersecurity. The increase in cyber-attacks like Wanna Cry, Stuxnet, or the attack on German Bundestag boosts the importance of cybersecurity. Cybersecurity is very complex due to its protection objectives for integrity, confidentiality, and availability.  Protection goals like authorization will identify the user and their rights to access, to protect the data source. The problems are constantly changing in, and the issue runs throughout the life cycle of the devices, system, and networks. The device must be regularly updated to protect it from new methods of hacking. The developers and automakers find it challenging to design devices with an everchanging requirement of security updates. The makers must work with appropriate security and IT experts at the initial stages of development.

Machines are expected to be autonomous and as intelligent as possible. They must be greater in functionality, connectivity, and handle a higher volume of data. The security measures must be carried out in a timely manner at the beginning of the signal chain which is a transition from the real world to the digital world. Companies are finding it difficult to make a transition due to the increasing need for security. The lack of technical knowledge in cybersecurity creates this uncertainty. In critical places where reliability is needed, the highest level of security must be offered.

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