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Smart factories are manifestations of how the industrial internet of things (IIoT) is changing traditional manufacturing. Organizations in the manufacturing sector already have a basic understanding of what smart factories are as well as their capabilities and the advantages and challenges of building them. A pivotal change to adapt to technological advances like smart factories requires a huge budget, and one critical consideration is how to get the most value out of that investment. Integrators can begin by reevaluating their security.

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A single cyberattack can negate the benefits derived from a smart factory, like real-time data monitoring, supply chain management, and predictive maintenance. That’s why security must not be left behind as organizations move forward with their “smart” agendas. A survey of reported cyberattacks in the past and a review of common network attack scenarios can help pinpoint areas where IIoT security could be falling behind — and where security should be enhanced.

Past attacks on connected industrial systems

Reported attacks on IIoT systems do not only serve as a reminder of how real threats are in this field — they also serve as case studies to further understand the nature of threats against the IIoT. Outlined in the figure below are the attacks on IIoT systems dating back to more than a decade ago.


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