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How to measure real-time OEE securely


Security is top-of-mind when it comes to just about every technology, but with IoT and Industry 4.0 technology, it’s even more important.

If a manufacturer is looking to deploy IoT technology into the manufacturing process, this ratchets up security’s importance from high to business-critical because the impact of a cybersecurity breach might be more than an annoyance and a password change, it could be ruinous.

Beyond security, the measures put in place to safeguard your data streams are, in many cases, the same ones required to guarantee a clean and reliable flow of data into your Industry 4.0 platform, without which your solution cannot properly function.

Security at every layer

Complete Industry 4.0 solutions have many, many components and (figurative and literal) moving parts. This makes looking at each of them individually a bit more complicated, so the best way to break it down is into three key areas:

  1. Processes – not just what your internal systems are doing, but also how external entities interact with it and what they’re doing, so that you can identify anomalies and mitigate them.
  2. Communication / data flows – data when in transit is always at risk of being intercepted, damaged or modified. It’s therefore key to ensure its integrity and security between devices, gateways and the cloud.
  3. Storage – repositories of data can be sitting targets, so you need to examine where threats might exist in temporary data queues, operating systems (OS) and that come with image storage.

With an understanding of these different areas, you can then take time to examine how risk can be mitigated, weak points improved, and your solution monitored continuously for breaches.

Standard security features you should have in your Industry 4.0 solution

With Factory One, there are a number of things that we’ve put into our technology as standard to ensure security that we see as gold-standard and which you should be demanding from any Industry 4.0 solution provider:

  • TLS Handshake Protocol – it allows 2-way authentication and encryption prior to the sending of data.
  • TLS Record Protocol – working on top of standard TCP, it ensures that connections are secure and reliable.
  • SSL encryption – allows for authentication and data encryption between servers, machines and applications operating over a network (we use 256-bit SSL as standard).
  • Data anomaly detection – an algorithm (based on machine learning) that detects anomalies in data patterns.
  • Certificate-based device authentication – key pairing allows for additional authentication at the physical layer (both public and private).
  • Security (Bearer) tokens – security tokens enable devices and services to be authenticated devices without the requirement to send keys over networks.
  • Device authentication – Enabling the client and server to authenticate with each other by the device ID.
  • Database encryption – provides your business with the ability to encrypt all database content at rest.
  • SFTP – a secure FTP connection adds an extra level of security when transferring files on both local and remote systems.
  • VPN – offers security at the whole-of-server-level for devices and/or users that are connecting to the IoT platform.

It’s always important to note that, whilst there are standard things that can be done to improve your security footing, there will always be the need to add custom elements because no organization is the same. From machines, hardware, software, and human inputs –-you’re unique and so are the security threats that you face.

Not only that, the cyber security landscape is always changing. Because of this, we will always advocate (and can support you with) regular patching of all your technologies, and you will still need to follow best practice in terms of carrying out regular security and risk assessments.

Factory One' solutions have been designed and built with security front of mind. Hard-baked into every part, but without encumbering end-users - we offer some of the most secure manufacturing IoT solutions available anywhere in the world.


Dr Bernard Kornfeld
Chief Scientist

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