Old style manufacturing equipment was not connected to a network, and that physical separation provided some level of security. Automation and other Industry 4.0 technologies bring many benefits and increased efficiencies to manufacturing facilities, but networked machines are at greater risk of cyber attack.

Operational technology (OT) is the traditional physical world of machines and manufacturing equipment. Information technology (IT) is the more recent digital world of servers, storage, and networking used to run applications and process data. OT and IT have different security priorities, but these worlds are converging as Industry 4.0 has blurred these lines. The integration of automation and Industry 4.0 technologies has brought efficiency to manufacturing but also increased the risk of cyber attacks for many manufacturers. Unlike the old style of manufacturing equipment, modern systems are interconnected, exposing vulnerabilities to cyber threats. As a result, manufacturers must enable strong cybersecurity safeguards to prevent a breach with a unified approach from OT and IT.

What can you do to protect your firm?

It’s important for firms to adopt Industry 4.0 technologies to stay competitive. Upgrading cybersecurity must be integrated into that effort to protect both your business and supply chains. Proactive strategies, such as risk assessments, vulnerability identification, and employee training, are essential to prevent potential cyber attacks. Cybersecurity strategies should be integral to the overall operational strategy, not viewed as an optional add-on.

Collaborating with industry experts, staying informed about cybersecurity trends, and implementing best practices are vital. A strong cybersecurity posture protects sensitive data, critical systems, and maintains trust with customers and partners. The cost of a cybersecurity breach is significant, making the investment in cybersecurity today crucial for long-term business resilience and sustainability. The time to act is now –  manufacturers must urgently implement robust cybersecurity measures in order to secure their futures in the era of advanced technologies.

Take a look at the infographic below to learn more about the challenges and how ITAC can help your company. We have the resources to help you safeguard your information, your systems, your employees, and your product.




























































ITAC is the NYC chapter of the Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) network, affiliated with the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). These non-profit organizations deliver technical, consulting, and workforce development services to small and medium-sized businesses in the manufacturing community.

The insight for this article originated from NIST MEP.