Why plant operators need to know about firewalls
Cybersecurity incidents are increasing and escalating in complexity, making sophisticated security measures essential for protecting industrial networks. For instance, a hacker could download and alter a medical formula from a pharmaceutical firm, rendering the medication life-threatening. Or an automotive plant’s robotics program may be vulnerable to a process change, and a cyberattack could result in a defective part.
Such threats are a reality today, and can endanger people and cause business loss through network failure and process line inefficiency. What steps can an industry take to limit the possibility of a cyberattack?
- Choose the appropriate firewall types, depending on application requirements, the level of tolerable risk, and the potential of an attack upon a system.
- Recognize that the engineers who implement and maintain control systems should understand and select the industrial-grade firewalls.
- Construct firewall systems with the proper separation and isolation to protect connected systems.
No firewall system is impenetrable, but a robust firewall will deter hackers and encourage them to look elsewhere for easier targets to exploit.
Download an expert guide to industrial firewalls: "Fundamental Principles of Ethernet Security Firewalls in Industrial Environments."