Who’s listening to your machines?

Manufacturers face security challenges both from outside and within the organization. As they connect their machines and operational technology to wireless networks to expand their…

Bob Slevin profile picture
Bob Slevin

May 3, 20194 minute read

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Manufacturers face security challenges both from outside and within the organization. As they connect their machines and operational technology to wireless networks to expand their supply chains across the globe and empower their mobile workers, they must deal with relentless security threats. On the one hand, adopting and integrating new technologies to become an Intelligent and Connected Enterprise is vital to staying competitive in today’s global economy. But this can also open a door to malicious cyber-attacks that halt production, create unsafe environments, damage brand reputation, and impose financial liabilities.

In a recent survey, half of UK manufacturers indicated they’ve fallen victim to cyber-attacks1. With these ever-increasing security threats, accepting a “good enough” security strategy is not acceptable. Organizations need to adopt a zero-trust, identity-first approach to ensure their data and devices are not at risk.

Are your machines guilty of oversharing?

From contextual, performance data like geographic location or the operating temperature to sensitive data like intellectual property or billing data, machines have a lot to tell us. But if you’ve ever collected Management Information Base (MIB) data, you know that machines don’t know when to stop sharing data. Just like people, machines can overshare.

So how do you control a machine that can’t tell when to stop sharing information? You create a “circle of trust”, enabled by OpenText’s identity-centric approach to Industrial IoT. This is possible by clearly identifying each machine and its associated data streams to ensure the machines are sharing exactly what’s expected and to whom.  This eliminates sending information to the uncaring or worse, to the unqualified. It is this zero trust approach that delivers the security needed to allow industrial IoT to be the disruptive technology — but in a good way.

The benefits to secure, Industrial IoT

Accelerate innovation and introduce new business models

After years of focusing on retrenchment, many industrial organizations — from energy and mining to utilities to manufacturing—are looking for new ways to deliver new services and optimize production. Many are also looking to address the threat of nimble, new competitors. Being able to source machine data and turn it into actionable insights is critical in building and sustaining competitive advantage.

Improve customer and citizen experiences

Digital technology has transformed expectations across all aspects of our lives. People want and demand greater personalization and more connected services. Recognizing, understanding and reacting to customer insights is a priority for all industries. Leveraging IoT, analytics and edge computing with cloud-enabled platforms will enable industrial companies to engage with their customers in new ways to ensure expectations are met or issues are proactively addressed.

Address and comply with regulatory requirements

Industrial IoT can help organizations meet new environmental standards and safety regulations. For example, OSHA sets “permissible exposure limits” (PEL’s) for workers in facilities where airborne contaminants are present. These limits set an amount of a substance a worker can be exposed to over the course of an 8-hour shift (a time-weighted average, or TAV).  Because OSHA standards are statutory regulations, maintaining clean air is mandatory. Failure to comply with these regulations can lead to serious fines. Using IoT sensors, a manufacturer can collect air quality samples and address issues before an unsafe workplace can be cited.

Partner with a trusted global leader

At OpenText, we are defining the future of digital. Learn more about the Industrial Internet of Things and how to transform and evolve critical supply chain operations through Digital Manufacturing and enable The Intelligent and Connected Enterprise.

Are you ready for the Intelligent and Connected Enterprise? Join us at OpenText™ Enterprise World 2019 to hear how we’re enabling the Intelligent and Connected Enterprise with AI and the Internet of Things.

  1. https://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2018/04/22/half-uk-manufacturers-fall-victim-cyber-attacks/

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Bob Slevin

Bob Slevin is the Director of Product Marketing for IoT at OpenText. Bob is an Internet of Things (IoT) architect and evangelist with more than 25 years’ experience in telecommunications spanning Military and Private sectors. He has collaborated with partners to deploy millions of connected devices across business and consumer markets. An IoT thought leader with an MBA in Technology Management, Bob is focused on identifying business challenges and building innovative solutions to improve operational efficiencies, drive growth and mitigate risks.

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