The possibilities of the transition to Industry 4.0 manufacturing processes are limitless. However, the rise of digital technology and greater connectivity marks a new level of complexity for manufacturers in the context of cyber security.

What is cyber resilience?

Simply put cyber resilience is ensuring your digital infrastructure is equipped to withstand sustained cyber-attacks. The more your business transitions to digitally connected systems, the higher your level of vulnerability.

With the manufacturing industry poised on the edge of mass-migration to Industry 4.0 systems, ensuring your business has appropriate cyber resilience is vital to prevent data loss, malicious damage, and financial woes.

Barriers to entry

There are two primary barriers to entry for manufacturing firms, cost and skills. The cost of implementing cyber security measures is more of a perceived barrier than a reality. As Aaron Maran, Policy Manager at Make UK says in the podcast,

‘There are lots of free-of-charge tools and techniques that companies can implement that can add layers of cyber security, for example two-stage authentication or changing passwords regularly, or even acts as simple as backing up files.’

The skills gap is a more pressing concern. With the need for cyber protection growing exponentially, the requirement for qualified cyber security professionals is urgent.

Smart Factory. Image courtesy of Deloitte

Unique to Industry 4.0

Adoption of Industry 4.0 systems and processes within the manufacturing industry presents a unique challenge. More connected systems, often across a large network of individual contractors, creates a much greater risk. Alongside this the manufacturing industry presents a very lucrative, and often vulnerable, target for cyber criminals. As a result of this it is becoming more common for businesses to ask suppliers, and even customers, to demonstrate their cyber robustness before accessing their systems.

The role for leaders

To prevent cyber-attacks, the role of senior leaders across the entire business is critical. Particularly given how digital platforms will be used by each sector of your organisation. Cultural change trickles down from the top, so for an entire business culture to adopt cyber-secure Industry 4.0 principles it requires senior leader buy-in from the start.

And in an environment of cyber-attacks becoming ever more likely its important business leaders adopt an attitude of ‘when’ not ‘if’.

How to prepare

As your business begins to transition to become Industry 4.0 ready, this transformation process is a perfect opportunity to incorporate cyber resilience principles. The key pillars are:

Cyber Security Systems

Research and invest in appropriate cyber defences. The cost of entry might not be as high as you expect. Besides, the financial cost of a severe cyber-attack would far outweigh the investment in secure systems.

Contingency Planning

Knowing what you’ll do when an attack or breach happens is critical. Regular stress tests are invaluable in preparing your security team and business leaders to manage and respond to attacks, but also in revealing vulnerable points in your systems and business recovery priorities that would have otherwise been overlooked. As Bia Bedri, Cyber Security Partner at Deloitte says,

‘It’s really important you know who you will be calling in advance, rather than panicking at that point in time.’


There are many high-profile examples of cyber-attacks happening and businesses initially being frozen not knowing how to react. In the early stages after an attack it’s crucial to respond quickly and efficiently, further emphasising the need for contingency preparations.

The key mantra

‘Adopting a no-blame culture is extremely important in empowering colleagues to report things as they happen and can aid in getting ahead if you are to face an attack’ says Maran.

Ensuring your staff feel comfortable identifying vulnerabilities and gaps in your cyber security is key to implementing a sustainable, cyber-secure environment. Consistent, critical analysis of your systems and defences, from every part of your organisation, allows you to build a culture that is always improving – protecting you now and in the future against the threat of cyber-attacks

For further insights, join the Deloitte team on the 10 & 11 November at this year’s Smart Factory Expo. You can listen to the full Cyber and Smart Manufacturing podcast episode.

Source: Cyber Resilience in Smart Manufacturing

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