Industrial security The importance of cybersecurity in all areas of a company has increased significantly in recent years. At the same time, with increasing networking and digitalization, there are more points that are vulnerable to attack. The methods of attack are also becoming increasingly professional. In addition, companies are required by law to protect themselves against cyberattacks. Industrial security can prevent sabotage, downtime, or data loss and thus protect your company against significant financial losses.

World map with security lock
Overview of the different features of IT and ICS security

Comparison of ICS and IT security requirements

Combination of IT and OT

The security of your company is rooted in two different worlds: IT (information technology) and OT (operational technology). To properly protect your networks and systems, both worlds need to be considered and a comprehensive security concept is required. An effective and efficient approach can only be developed through coordinated action.

The IEC 62443 series of international standards aims to provide support for the secure operation of industrial automation systems (ICS systems) – from design through implementation to management. To this end, it sets out basic requirements for component manufacturers, system integrators, and operators. IEC 62443 builds on standard ISO 27001, which mainly comprises rules for IT security. Together, the two standards provide a holistic approach to protecting against cyberattacks.

Industrial security
Why comprehensive security goes beyond office networks
Cybersecurity is a key issue for every company. Digital transformation and the increasing complexity of cyberattacks require a holistic security strategy. The white paper describes the particular aspects of the ICS environment, key areas of action, and provides initial recommendations for the successful implementation of a holistic cybersecurity concept.
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White paper: Industrial Security

Data protection affects every industry Click on the hotspots to find out more

Interactive image map: Overview of industrial security by industry
Machine manufacturers
Cybersecurity increases the reliability and availability of your machines. A secure remote connection is also required to conduct remote maintenance at the customer’s site.
More about machine building
Automotive industry
Industrial security mechanisms ensure and, in some cases, even increase the availability of your production lines.
More about automotive production
System operators
Industrial security not only ensures the availability and reliable running of your industrial systems and processes, but also safeguards your production know-how.
Companies in the energy industry play an important role in supplying people with basic services. This is why in many countries the operators of systems within this critical infrastructure are required by law to protect their systems against unauthorized access.
More about power transmission and distribution
Water and wastewater treatment
To guarantee constant drinking water supply and wastewater treatment, you need to ensure your remote access to far-flung pumping stations and lifting stations, and therefore protect your automation systems from increasing Internet cyberattacks.
More about water and wastewater treatment
Process automation
Confidentiality and integrity of your process data: Protect your system against cybersecurity risks.
More about process automation

Networking offers significant opportunities, but also risks

The benefits of expanding networks, such as increased productivity or flexibility, are obvious. But increased networking and the resulting convergence of IT and OT mean that company networks have more points that are vulnerable to attack.

Criminals repeatedly succeed in exploiting potential vulnerabilities in the IIoT (Industrial Internet of Things) and thus gain access to companies and infrastructures. This raises the question of how large-scale automation environments can be networked while simultaneously ensuring that industrial systems are protected from hacker attacks and malware. The following points provide an overview of the biggest threats and possible precautionary measures.

Topology of a segmented network

Solution: Network segmentation

Malfunctions from the office

Malfunctions and viruses, e.g., from the office environment, can be transferred directly to the production area.

Solution: Network segmentation

By splitting large networks into small segments, data exchange between the various zones, e.g., between production and the office or between different system parts, can be controlled. The individual segments can be separated using VLANs or firewalls. Routers or layer 3 switches then need to be used for communication between the individual network segments. These devices intercept typical network errors, preventing them from spreading further to the rest of the network.

Topology: Secure remote maintenance with firewalls for Internet access

Solution: Encrypted data transmission

Hacker attacks

Criminals can copy data or make changes to the system via an open Internet connection.

Solution: Encrypted data transmission

It should not be possible to access automation systems from the Internet. This protection is achieved by using a firewall for Internet access, which restricts all incoming traffic as well as outgoing traffic to the requisite, authorized connections. All wide area connections should be encrypted, e.g., by VPN with IPsec.

Switch with ports switched off

Solution: Protect ports

Infected hardware

Infected hardware, such as USB sticks or laptops, can transfer malware to the network.

Solution: Protect ports

Using the port security function, you can make settings directly on your network components preventing unknown devices from exchanging data with the network. Furthermore, any available ports that are not required should be switched off. Some components also offer the option of sending alerts via SNMP and signal contact if unauthorized access to the network is registered.

Topology: Control of remote maintenance using a key switch

Solution: Secure remote access

Unauthorized access to systems

Changes are inadvertently made to the wrong system from a remote location.

Solution: Secure remote access

Secure remote access to one or more machines can be implemented using different technological solutions. First, outbound communication can be encrypted, e.g., via IPsec or OpenVPN. Second, remote maintenance can be initiated via a key switch on the machine.

This ensures that only intended changes are made to the machine. At the same time, the key switch also enables the communication rules in the network to be blocked while remote maintenance is being carried out.

 Topology: Secure integration of mobile end devices with one-time passwords and DMZ

Solution: Secure WLAN password assignment

Mobile end devices

Unauthorized smart devices connect themselves via the WLAN interface.

Solution: Secure WLAN password assignment

If WLAN passwords are known and have not been changed in a long time, this also affords third parties uncontrolled access to the machine network. WLAN components from Phoenix Contact therefore enable automated key management by the machine control system. This means that secure WLAN machine access can be easily implemented in the form of one-time passwords.

In addition, WLAN communication can be protected and isolated from the rest of the network using a demilitarized zone (DMZ).

NIS 2 cybersecurity

The implementation of cybersecurity measures is becoming law

Cybersecurity is becoming law The implementation of cybersecurity is no longer only mandatory for critical infrastructures

The digitalization of production, product, and customer data is one of the decisive factors for increasing the added value of a company. Therefore, this data must be given special protection.

The EU Commission recognized this and presented a European strategy for cybersecurity in December 2020. This defines standards for the security and defense capability of components, systems, and companies against cyberattacks. Legal requirements for the implementation of cybersecurity have long been established for critical infrastructures. This is now being extended with NIS 2, the new EU Network and Information Security Directive. However, the high requirements of the NIS 2 Directive can only be met if the products used have been developed in accordance with security-by-design. The Cyber Resilience Act (CRA) was defined by the EU to address this challenge. The new EU Machinery Regulation supplements the CRA, which also sees machines as a product.

IEC 62443 – the success factor for holistic security concepts
Protection against cyberattacks and compliance with legal requirements
Can components and systems certified in accordance with IEC 62443 provide comprehensive protection against cyberattacks and at the same time meet the new EU legal requirements, such as NIS 2, the Cyber Resilience Act (CRA), and the new Machinery Regulation? Find out everything you need to know about the new legal directive, the implementation of cybersecurity in automation, and the significance of IEC 62443 in our white paper.
Download the white paper now
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360° security cycle

Our comprehensive 360° security concept

360° security – our comprehensive range without compromises

Good protection against cyberattacks can only be achieved if coordinated technical and organizational measures are intermeshed. We therefore provide 360° security, which simplifies the protection of systems and secures them from all sides:

Secure services
Our trained and knowledgeable security specialists will advise you on how to minimize the specific security risks in your system and will develop a security concept (certified in accordance with IEC 62443-2-4) on request. We can share our knowledge with you in training courses to bring your employees up to speed on cybersecurity.

Secure solutions
Our security concepts protect your critical processes, e.g., with the help of zone concepts, data flow control, and the use of hardened components. Secure processes are also established and documented.

Secure products
Security is embedded in the entire lifecycle of our products. It starts with a secure development process (certified in accordance with IEC 62443-4-1), and includes the integration of important security functions as well as regular updates and security patches.

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LinkedIn: Industrial communication and cybersecurity Become a part of our community now!

Industrial communication networks enable us to reliably transmit data from the field, through the control level, all the way to the cloud. Our Industrial communication and cybersecurity LinkedIn page provides you with interesting information on network availability, cyber security, remote maintenance, and much more. Become a part of our community!