Stuxnet: A turning point

This is an explosive new age of industrial productivity and with that brings a bigger risk for cyber attackers to hit manufacturers.

07/12/2011


ISS SourceThis is an explosive new age of industrial productivity and with that brings a bigger risk for cyber attackers to hit manufacturers.

“With automation tools we can shorten the time it takes to bring product to market,” said Raj Batra, president, industry automation division at Siemens during his keynote address Tuesday at the 2011 Automation Summit in Orlando, Fla.

Those tools, such as open systems, bring great benefits, but they also can bring peril. Batra mentioned Stuxnet being one of those issues.

“Stuxnet marked a turning point,” Batra said. “It turned theoretical problems into real time headlines. We have learned over the course of the last year. It has been bittersweet. It has driven some very important lesson learned.”

Batra said in 2010 alone there were over 20 million new strains of malware created.

For companies to succeed in fending off any kind of cyber attack whether it is an advance targeted attack like a Stuxnet or a lesser assault, Batra said technology alone cannot solve the problem.

“The focus of cyber security can’t be achievable through products alone. Companies need to take a holistic approach. We need to take a defense in depth approach. ”

Technology is key to solving the problem, but it also comes down to companies having a plan and executing on that plan.

Companies need to build awareness into the organization, Batra said. In addition, he said, security has to become a way of life for any company. Finally, companies need to take a holistic approach to security.

“The goal for us to be the best in managing industrial security,” Batra said.

While security was a major part of the keynote address, Batra also talked about main business pressures companies are facing today. Global manufacturing, supply chain complexity, the shortage of engineering talent, commodity price increases were all part of the push to increase productivity in the coming years.

- Edited by Amanda McLeman, Plant Engineering, www.plantengineering.com