Smart manufacturing: new ISO guidance to reduce the risks of cyber-attacks on machinery

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By Clare Naden
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In our hyper-connected world, IT security covers not just our data but virtually everything that moves – including machinery. Cyber-attacks or IT malfunctions in manufacturing can pose risks to the safety measures in place, thus having an impact on production and people. New international guidance to identify and address such risks has just been published.

“Smart” manufacturing, or that which takes advantage of Internet and digital technology, allows for seamless production and integration across the entire value chain. It also allows for parameters – such as speed, force and temperature – to be controlled remotely. The benefits are many, including being able to track performance and usage and improved efficiencies, but it also exacerbates the risk of IT security threats.

Increasing the speed or force of a machine to dangerous levels, or lowering cooking temperatures to result in food contamination, are just some examples of where cyber-attacks can not only disrupt manufacturing but pose serious risks to us. Happily, a new ISO technical report (TR) has just been published to help manufacturers prepare for and mitigate these risks.

ISO/TR 22100-4, Safety of machinery – Relationship with ISO 12100 – Part 4: Guidance to machinery manufacturers for consideration of related IT-security (cyber security) aspects, is designed to help machinery manufacturers identify and address IT security threats that can impact on the safety of their product. It complements ISO’s flagship standard for machine safety, ISO 12100, Safety of machinery – General principles for design – Risk assessment and risk reduction, which lays down the fundamentals for risk assessment, hazard analysis and documentational requirements.

Otto Görnemann, Chair of the ISO technical committee in charge of the technical report, said machine safety and cybersecurity differ greatly when it comes to their objectives, methods and measures, yet in manufacturing they are inextricably linked.

“ISO/TR 22100-4 will help machine manufacturers integrate the relationship between cybersecurity and machine safety,” he said.

“It will thus cover aspects such as the types of components that could be potential targets for cybersecurity attacks, the design of the machine to minimize vulnerability to such attacks and information for the machine operator on possible threats.”

ISO/TR 22100-4 was developed by ISO technical committee ISO/TC 199, Safety of machinery, the secretariat of which is held by DIN, ISO’s member for Germany. It is available from your national ISO member or through the ISO Store.

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