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The Benefits of IoT in Manufacturing Facilities and How to Secure It
IoT in manufacturing and production industries enables higher levels of automation, data collection, and efficiency, so it’s no surprise that IoT empowers manufacturers tremendously.
In this blog, I’ll be walking you through some of the most common benefits that manufacturers using IoT technology enjoy, best practices, and how organizations can secure their IoT environments with a modernized vulnerability patching approach.
What Is IoT?
Using the Internet of Things, or IoT, in manufacturing is a concept where devices in manufacturing facilities connect to other devices to collect and share data with manufacturers and employees to facilitate a seamless production process.
Using IoT technology in the manufacturing sector essentially creates an enormous network of connected ‘things’ (devices) that gather and eventually share data about the environment around them. Some common devices used for IoT in manufacturing facilities are sensors, robotics, valves, thermometers, and many other components of a standard manufacturing operation.
However, CISA, the Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency has highlighted the growing risk that connected devices introduce, as even the smallest component of a connected manufacturing facility could be the entry point of a devastating cyberattack.
But, before we get into that, let’s highlight how IoT empowers manufacturers and the magnitude of how IoT is transforming the sector.
How IoT Is Transforming the Production Process
Using IoT technology in manufacturing industries is greatly beneficial for employees as they can better estimate current trends or future pain points to streamline operations or facilitate warehouse management.
IoT in manufacturing facilities helps collect data from machines or equipment (connected devices), which allows manufacturers to identify customer pain points as well as trends. The metrics available help in monitoring equipment in real time and offer quick, often automated, product-related solutions.
Since these devices are connected wirelessly to the internet, it is incredibly simple to monitor them and make adjustments. The production process can also be viewed in a virtual environment to streamline coordination between employees – most importantly, enabling predictive maintenance. But, we’ll get into that later.
For manufacturers, quality management is a crucial element to work with and create quick and robust results. Since manufacturers can keep track of machine parameters and analyze the reliability based on temperature, air quality, or several other metrics, ultimately, the quality of the product is less likely to be compromised as a result of disruptions in machines and equipment, material degradation, energy consumption, or any inaccuracy during quality assurance.
IoT technology can facilitate the effective management of warehouses since manufacturers, employees, and businesses can keep track of changing trends, consumer satisfaction, rising costs, and the effectiveness of machines.
While companies stay put and invest millions of dollars to fix any underlying problem, without the use of IoT, they will likely have more trouble identifying the pain points, let alone addressing them.
Three common complexities that stand out when facilitating warehouse management are costs, complexity, and speed. With IoT, it is possible to not only track, but also manage capacity, inventory, and the movement of goods.
A Problem About IoT Technology Worth Addressing
While IoT is transforming how production and manufacturing industries can enhance warehouse management or quality control, there are a few risks that IoT users should acknowledge. Something as tiny as an unpatched sensor on a device can put the business’s prized information at risk.
IoT in manufacturing industries can cause devices to become easy targets for threat actors since these devices run node software and a gateway that is Linux-based which makes it incredibly favored by malicious actors.
So, confronting the reality of how vulnerable connected devices can be is critical for protecting a manufacturing organization from cyber threats. Automated live patching, a prominent solution, is available so manufacturers can make the most of this game-changing technology.
KernelCare: Automated Patching for Connected Devices
Given the fact that IoT devices are constantly collecting and sharing data wirelessly through the internet, they are extremely vulnerable. Fortunately, live patching IoT devices, which delivers automated vulnerability patches without needing to reboot, enables manufacturers to put their patching on autopilot.
TuxCare’s KernelCare Enterprise for IoT offers several benefits for manufacturing facilities without having to take individual devices out of production to deploy the latest patches – you can do this while avoiding downtime.
Skip the wait for vulnerability patches and loathe the downtime as a consequence of rebooting your servers. The KernelCare Enterprise for IoT deploys patches to a Linux kernel when the device is running – with live patching, maintenance windows are becoming a thing of the past.
IoT Best Practices for Security Compliance
Setting Up Encrypted Communication Channels
It is crucial that the communication taking place between connected devices and IoT admins needs to be encrypted as the first countermeasure to secure critical data.
Firewalls are protective segments of an IoT network that protect and secure communications and data.
Modernizing Your IoT Security Approach
To minimize your manufacturing facility’s exposure to vulnerabilities, adopting a live patching approach with KernelCare for IoT enables you to automatically apply the latest patches in the background while your IoT devices continue to run.
IoT in manufacturing facilities can help in keeping your warehouse ecosystem secured with the latest patches while avoiding downtime and production disruptions, speak to a TuxCare IoT patching expert – who will be ready to answer any questions you may have.