Recently news channels have been rife with stories about hacking and data losses concerning all manner of information, from alleged CIA intelligence tools to people’s medical records. As 3D printing moves into mainstream manufacturing of end parts, and as those parts are destined for strategically important uses, whether for aircraft or for key products in a company’s portfolio, the threat of malicious interference has to be taken seriously. Already research has found that it is possible to embed weaknesses in 3D printed items that would pass currently known testing. This is indeed a real and tangible risk and needs to be managed accordingly.
Ralph Resnick, President and Executive Director, National Center for Defense Manufacturing and Machining (NCDMM) and Founding Director of America Makes, takes a closer look at this topic.
With increased shop floor connectivity, Manufacturing 4.0 and the introduction of Chinese industrial Additive Manufacturing systems coming to the US market, what should we really be preparing for?
Cyber security risk in manufacturing – the risk of being hacked – is growing. In fact, reports show that in recent years more US manufacturers are getting targeted by cyber threats than energy companies who have traditionally been primary targets. The recent trend to increase connectivity on the shop floor, between supply chains and the use of ‘smart’ tools and mobile applications to drive productivity and growth only increase and accelerate the possibility of those risks. And yet, manufacturers in general are not well-prepared to deal with them and many industrial environments were not designed with cybersecurity in mind – after all, manufacturing was not a target, right?