The adoption of Industry 4.0 technologies and the introduction of Industry 5.0 ambitions are driving enormous changes in the manufacturing industry. Manufacturing leaders, enabled by technology, are focused on service-based offerings, hyper-personalization, and sustainable manufacturing while improving operational efficiencies and quality.

The industry’s transformation is exciting; however, the risk of cyber threats has increased in parallel for several reasons including:

  • Use of legacy machinery that was never intended to be connected to digital networks
  • Lack of employee awareness and accidental leaks
  • Shift to remote working due to the COVID-19 crisis
  • Vulnerable technology and supply chains

Cybersecurity has been on the critical path for digital enterprises for several years, with board level accountability. In manufacturing, the 2021 CGI Voice of Our Clients reveals a strong link between digital transformation and information and operational security. Indeed, it is a key focus area for manufacturing executives, with 90% identifying information technology/ operational technology (IT/OT) security as a top spend trend area. In addition, 79% believe employee training and awareness are core cybersecurity elements, followed by programs to test organizational response capabilities.

With the digitization of factories and digitally connected value chains, traditional IT security practices and solutions can only partly offer answers to protect manufacturing organizations.

This paper focuses on the cyber risks faced in manufacturing operations and factories, industrial control systems (ICSs) and connected industrial devices. Based on industry best practices and CGI’s extensive experience in this field, we share a methodology for assessing and securing the OT environment. We also share recommendations and actions that executives, plant managers and operations staff can take to effectively prepare for and address the growing complexity and speed of cybersecurity risks within digital factories.