The convergence of operational technology (OT) and information technology (IT) has a significant impact on manufacturing cybersecurity. Specifically, industrial control systems (ICS) and supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) systems that have historically been air gapped are now being connected to IT systems—and therefore to the internet. As the air gap is removed, these systems are vulnerable to an increasingly advanced threat landscape and are targets for hackers involved in terrorism, cyber warfare, and espionage.
Global OT systems around the world are barraged with both recycled IT-based attacks and purpose-built OT exploits. One survey states that 74% of OT professionals had experienced a breach in the past 12 months. Attacks on the manufacturing sector’s critical infrastructure can result in financial loss, risk to brand reputation, and sometimes even loss of life or threats to national cybersecurity.
Since 2005, Fortinet has protected OT environments in critical U.S. infrastructure sectors such as energy, defense, manufacturing, food, and transportation. By designing cybersecurity into complex infrastructure via the Fortinet Security Fabric, organizations can integrate cybersecurity protection across OT and IT environments, from the manufacturing floor to the office data center to multiple clouds.
The corporate IT network at manufacturing companies houses important data related to finance, intellectual property, HR, product support, field support, and more. Some manufacturers produce Internet-of-Things (IoT) devices and collect data from customers who have purchased them—information that sits somewhere on the corporate network. As with other industries, manufacturers are increasingly reliant on cloud-based applications and infrastructure, and IoT devices are growing in number at the network edge.
Whatever sensitive data is housed there, the corporate infrastructure needs a broad, integrated, and automated cybersecurity solution with end-to-end integration. The Fortinet Security Fabric provides just such a solution, built on the foundation of FortiGate next-generation firewalls (NGFWs) and artificial intelligence (AI)-powered threat intelligence from FortiGuard Labs.
A wide array of Fortinet manufacturing cybersecurity tools integrates seamlessly into the Fabric, along with dozens of third-party solutions delivered by Fabric Partners. And an open ecosystem and extensive application programming interface (API) tools make the integration of other third-party tools possible.
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Air-gapped Manufacturing Systems
While many OT systems are now connected to IT systems, recent research by Forrester finds that 40% of OT systems are still air gapped—that is, not connected to any other network. While one might assume that such systems are safe from cyberattacks, they still use IP-based control systems and administrators still install software updates provided by the manufacturer. This gives adversaries an opening to penetrate a system by infecting the updates through the vendor’s network. And while air-gapped systems may not contain sensitive data, infiltrations can cause costly disruptions and safety issues.
As a result, cybersecurity for the manufacturing industry best practices recommend using a next-generation firewall (NGFW) for air-gapped systems, and this must be accompanied with comprehensive cybersecurity tracking and reporting. FortiGate NGFWs provide robust protection and industry-leading performance when inspecting both encrypted and unencrypted traffic. FortiManager provides single-pane-of-glass management and a variety of reporting tools. FortiAnalyzer delivers analytics-powered cybersecurity and log management for maximum visibility and better detection of breaches. The FortiSIEM cybersecurity information and event management tool enables a coordinated and automated response to attacks.
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Connected Manufacturing Systems
Historically air-gapped OT systems are now frequently being connected to IT systems—and thus to the internet—for a variety of reasons. Digital transformation and the need for business agility are creating increasing co-dependence between IT and OT. From an industrial cybersecurity perspective, the main result of this convergence is a greatly expanded attack surface. And since OT systems often have weak cybersecurity protection, this presents risk to an organization in the short term.
But if cybersecurity issues can be resolved, the potential is great for combining IT and automation networks into a single, secure, manageable, and converged environment. Cybersecurity teams must have centralized visibility into all systems, the ability to segment the network according to business need, and centralized control of both wired and wireless networks.
The Fortinet Security Fabric covers the entire attack surface with a broad, integrated, and automated cybersecurity architecture that enhances industrial cybersecurity and improves operational efficiency. Built on the foundation of FortiGate next-generation firewalls (NGFWs) and artificial intelligence (AI)-powered threat intelligence from FortiGuard Labs, the Security Fabric provides seamless integration with dozens of cybersecurity tools from Fortinet and its Fabric Partners.
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Third-party Vendor Management
As the industry moves in the direction of a Manufacturing-as-a-Service (MaaS) model, third parties have more access than ever before to corporate networks and OT systems. This complicates the notion of the trusted user and forces organizations to assess their vulnerabilities against insider threats—including from third parties. Keeping track of each partner’s cybersecurity posture through regular vetting is critical. Organizations also need robust protection against insider threats, whether those threats are accidental or malicious, and whether they come from within the company or an element of the partner network.
The integrated solutions of the Fortinet Security Fabric provide a multilayered defense against the latest insider threats. Intent-based segmentation capabilities in FortiGate NGFWs allow organizations to segment their network intelligently in a world of dynamic trust. The FortiAuthenticator identity and access management solution and FortiToken tokens leverage that segmentation in granting access to users on a need-to-know basis. FortiInsight uses user and entity behavior analytics (UEBA) to identify anomalies in the expected behavior of trusted users and entities that might indicate a compromised account. And FortiDeceptor uses deception technology to deceive, expose, and eliminate attacks originating from internal and external sources.
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Multi-cloud Manufacturing Cybersecurity
As with most other industries, manufacturers are moving services to the cloud at a rapid clip. Many now have cloud-based manufacturing resource planning (MRP) and enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems. These systems often pull data from both IT and OT systems for quick and effective decision-making, a process called digital twinning. Cloud-based solutions are also routinely used for services that impact customer experience. For manufacturing security consulting firms, protecting cybersecurity for these assets is critical, meaning that an organization’s integrated cybersecurity architecture must extend from the data center to OT systems to multiple clouds.
The Fortinet Security Fabric enables broad, integrated, and automated protection for the multi-cloud environment, ensuring consistent policy management, configuration management, and threat detection and response across the entire attack surface. FortiGate VM brings the next-generation firewall (NGFW) to a virtual machine that works well for cloud environments, and the FortiWeb web application firewall (WAF), available in several form factors, protects the application layer with in-line, artificial intelligence (AI)-powered threat intelligence.
The FortiCASB cloud access cybersecurity broker (CASB) service provides manufacturing security solutions and insights into resources, users, behaviors, and data stored in the cloud with comprehensive reporting tools, and enables advanced policy controls to be extended to Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) resources and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) applications. The FortiCWP cloud workload protection (CWP) tool enables cybersecurity and DevOps teams to evaluate their cloud configuration cybersecurity posture and identify potential threats resulting from misconfigurations.
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Key Manufacturing Cybersecurity Challenges
Manufacturing facilities contain machinery that can cause physical injury or death if it malfunctions or is not operated correctly. In the current threat landscape, adversaries aiming to disrupt operations with a cyber-physical attack can create safety risk for onsite employees and even nearby residents and passers-by. In addition, attacks can affect the safety of products produced at a factory, extending the risk over a wide geography.
Siloed systems for IT, OT, and physical security don't help matters. At many organizations, it is difficult enough to integrate just the IT security architecture between the data center, multiple clouds, and the edge. But some organizations will find that integrating all safety and manufacturing cybersecurity systems is the only viable way to protect human life.
Productivity and Uptime
Any unplanned interruption in operations can incur significant costs to an organization, and many cyberattacks that target manufacturers often aim to cause just such a disruption. Others seek to move laterally within the network once they get in, but the attack can still result in an interruption in operations.
Because they were historically air-gapped and system updates are less frequent, OT systems often have less sophisticated industrial cybersecurity protection than IT systems. As a result, they are frequently targeted by cybercriminals on the premise that they are relatively easy to infiltrate. Even air-gapped OT systems can be infiltrated by infecting manufacturers’ software updates before they are installed.
Lack of integration across the different manufacturing cybersecurity elements and architectural fragmentation increase operational inefficiencies. Without integration, manual tasks such as correlating log reports from different systems and assembling compliance reports waste the time of highly paid cybersecurity professionals and distract from more strategic work.
Architectural silos also create redundancies in management of applications, requiring a bigger set of specific product skills to be present on an overworked cybersecurity team. They can also result in higher software and hardware licensing costs that can significantly increase overall operational expenses.
Whether the products being made are targeted at consumers or businesses, manufacturers now routinely engage with customers in a highly targeted way, using social media and other engagement tools alongside their web presence. But these legitimate efforts can be countered by cyber criminals who manipulate social networks for profit. One study found that more than half of the world’s social media accounts are fraudulent.
Securing web properties and social media interactions is paramount for manufacturers, as the loss of data from potential customers in the early stages of the buying cycle could be devastating to a company’s reputation.
The quality of manufactured goods is paramount for a brand’s reputation, and manufacturing processes must be precise to achieve this goal. For example, if a cyberattack affects a food processor’s OT system in such a way that temperature is slightly changed or cooking time is slightly altered, spoilage or degraded product quality can occur.
Manufacturers are subject to a wide variety of regulations and standards depending on what goods they are making. Penalties for noncompliance are sometimes high, but an even higher cost often comes from diminished brand reputation in the event of a breach.
Organizations must be able to demonstrate compliance with multiple regulations and standards without redeploying staff from strategic initiatives to preparing audit reports. The latter is inevitably necessary with a disaggregated cybersecurity infrastructure.
Fortinet Differentiators for Manufacturing Cybersecurity
Flexible Integration, Including OT-specific Manufacturing Security Solutions
The Fortinet Security Fabric provides a single-vendor, end-to-end, integrated cybersecurity architecture across IT and OT, from protection to detection to response. This enables operational and cost efficiencies and improves protection against fast-moving threats. In addition to Fortinet tools, the Security Fabric enables integration with specialized OT solutions through the largest ecosystem of Fortinet Fabric Partners to streamline data into a single view for informed decision-making.
The Fortinet Security Fabric enables manufacturing companies to consolidate networking, cybersecurity, and surveillance functions into a single pane of glass. Technologies like cameras and recorders, advanced threat protection, segmentation and authentication, and software-defined wide-area networking (SD-WAN) can be deployed as an integrated whole—with minimal hardware and license costs.
Fortinet offers a broad selection of industrially hardened, ruggedized appliances that provide complete cybersecurity protection in any environment, from the manufacturing floor to remote operations. Robust components and a fanless design protect the hardware in harsh conditions.
Insider Threat Protection
Insider threats—intentional or accidental—are a growing concern for manufacturers as more users have access to parts of the network. These users can include employees, third-party suppliers, marketing and sales partners, and more. Fortinet provides a comprehensive solution to guard against insider threats including robust intent-based segmentation, identity and access management, user and entity behavior analytics (UEBA), and deceptor technology to lure malicious attackers into identifying themselves.
OT-specific Threat Intelligence
OT systems have unique architectural characteristics and face OT-specific threats along with generic ones. With 15 years of experience in working with manufacturing customers, FortiGuard Labs provides robust, OT-specific threat intelligence to those who manage manufacturing systems. FortiGuard Labs also has nearly eight years of experience in using artificial intelligence (AI) to identify unknown threats.
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