Worth Reading

Textile manufacturers should address cyber security in process control

Cyber security in control systems and other areas of operational technology is an essential element of Industry 4.0 but is often overlooked, according to a new report from WTiN Intelligence: Textile 4.0.

The 30-page report, Cyber Security in Textile Manufacturing, says the concept of Industry 4.0 has encouraged a drive towards automation and influenced the development of new technologies that incorporate features such as artificial intelligence, autonomous robotics and the integration of previously separate systems. Each of these brings cyber vulnerability that many industries fail to address, even though accidental corruption or cyber-attack could place operations at risk.

The report says the textile industry’s relatively late adoption of Industry 4.0 concepts now give it an advantage in learning from the mistakes of others. It provides an assessment of the risks that apply especially to operational technology and process control, and sets out an effective management approach to preventing and responding to cyber incidents.

Report author Sophie Devine, a WTiN digital innovation analyst, says: “Businesses are familiar with the need to adopt technical and other security measures in their general IT, but they often don’t make the leap of understanding that their control systems are equally at risk, whether it’s from hackers, disaffected employees, or just by accident. There have been several prominent examples of cyber-attacks on industrial infrastructure.

“The integration of legacy systems with new IT infrastructure increases this risk. Manufacturing businesses are exposing themselves to dangers if they don’t analyse and plan for potential cyber vulnerability.”

The report is available to subscribers of WTiN Intelligence: Textile 4.0 or can be purchased from the Reports section at https://www.wtin.com/reports

World Textile Information Network Ltd (WTiN) provides specialist insight and data-driven intelligence to businesses in the Textile & Apparel value chain, enabling them to make better decisions faster and gain competitive advantage. Its primary focus is on the high growth markets of materials innovation, industry digitalisation and technical textiles. WTiN products are subscription based, with most delivered digitally, leveraging the latest technology to maximise user discoverability. WTiN also: organises focused B2B events held each year in Europe, the USA & Asia; delivers bespoke consulting projects; and publishes a range of journals and reports.