In this blog post, we discuss the need for suitable security solutions in the context of smart industries and show how the Sanctuary consolidation and security services can support companies to enable the full potential of the fourth industrial revolution.
In Germany, more than 1/5 of the total gross value in 2021 was generated by the manufacturing sector according to Statista. In recent years, the sector is undergoing a transformation; the digitalization and automation of manufacturing processes, summarized under the term Industry 4.0, offers great potential, e.g. for the optimization of value-added processes, more sustainable production or the creation of new business models. Germany was the third largest exporter of goods in the world with over EUR 1.4 trillion in 2020 according to the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action. Thus, the trend towards a highly interconnected production must be consistently implemented also by German companies in order to remain internationally competitive.
The implementation of digitization in the production environment presents companies with major technical challenges, particularly in the area of IT security. The cornerstones of Industry 4.0, which we show in Figure 1, are a consistent interconnection of production machines (or field devices) with systems that collect and pre-process the machine data, called edge devices, as well as cloud systems that analyze the data with the aid of intelligent algorithms in order to optimize and actively control various production processes. In this context, it is essential to prevent attacks on the industrial plants. For this purpose, an IT infrastructure must be created that enables end-to-end protection of the data collected in the production environment, their processing applications, and the communication between the subsystems. However, especially for small and medium sized companies (SMEs), which account for more than 50% of the employees in Germany according to the German Federal Office of Statistics, solutions must be developed that can increase the security of the IT infrastructure using established standard components, so that the integration of these solutions into an already existing production environment is associated with low hurdles.
The Sanctuary consolidation and security software fulfills these requirements and provides, on off-the-shelf computing devices, a continuous protection of sensitive data and isolation of processing applications, from the production machines to the pre-processing edge devices and finally the cloud as shown in Figure 2. This secure collaboration on all levels is implemented using cryptographic methods for secure communication and authentication in the production network and by the consistent use of trusted computing technologies by which Sanctuary builds an IT infrastructure that guarantees the encapsulation of data and applications. Sanctuary also takes additional requirements into account that are particularly important in the embedded world, e.g., the preserving of real-time guarantees which must be considered on an equal footing with the security aspects. The deployment of Sanctuary in a smart production environment is also effective when performed in an incremental way, i.e., already the deployment on a single edge device can boost the security of a smart factory, e.g. by strongly separating the sensitive machine control software from the network connectivity software.