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Why sovereignty matters in converged industrial operations tech

Retaining digital independence is the best way to enable an autonomous response with regard to cyber incidents that strike at industrial production, Stormshield has suggested.

“All entry points are now being exploited by increasingly professional hackers, whose objectives include industrial espionage and halting production to demand ransoms or for political purposes,” Vincent Nicaise, head of industrial partnerships at Stormshield, writes in a blog post for the vendor.

Nicaise points out that France’s ANSSI agency in March 2022 reported on 1,082 intrusions critical to the proper functioning of France in 2021, an increase of 37% over 2020. At the same time, industrial firms are often not proactive about cybersecurity, he says.

Minimising disruptions to industrial production should include a focus on the advantages of a local response that can deliver rapid technical support and assistance to teams as well as incident response processes and the like, he writes.

“The choice of sovereign solutions also ensures native compliance with current regulations and standards. This translates into regulatory requirements for delivering secure access to information systems and operational systems (authentication, segmentation, data traceability, encryption, et cetera,” he writes.

Nicaise says more trusted European solutions are needed, given the proliferation of production sites and that attacks on Europe-based industrial companies increasingly come from anywhere.

Expanding the locally available offerings goes hand in hand with raising the awareness of industrial manufacturers regarding sovereign security components in the design of their products, he adds.

For industrial firms, the sovereignty concept should be the backbone of an OT cybersecurity strategy. Startups and cyber economies should be supported via national organisations with investment available via dedicated funds as well as education, according to Nicaise.

These are the conditions for ensuring that companies establish bases in France and in Europe and then stay there, and also for maintaining and developing European expertise that results in effective defences, he says.

(Image by Gundula Vogel from Pixabay)

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