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Priority: IT Security

Industrial networking – a curse and a blessing at the same time

One of the major challenges for the German economy is the transformation to Industry 4.0 in order to make production as a whole more flexible, individual and efficient. This requires complete networking of all market participants and systems. The downside here: there is always the potential risk of resources and knowledge being damaged or stolen by cyber attacks. The requirements for IT security must be correspondingly high.

Your data is safe with us: cyber security for SMEs through PRAISE

PRAISE stands for “Practical Industrial Security” and is considered a benchmark in information technology (IT) and operational technology (OT) for cyber security of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

This new methodology was developed and implemented as part of a research project together with the renowned IT and cyber security company secuvera, Esslingen University of Applied Sciences and AWB.

The goal: To establish an iterative process for small businesses to achieve a higher and more reliable standard in cyber and IT/OT security. The aim was to balance an effective, low-threshold approach with cost efficiency at the same time – which was successfully achieved. In detail:

ERP as a central point of attack

ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) programmes are in the focus of cybercriminals, as these programmes usually dock onto all areas of the company. Particularly critical: If, within the framework of “Industry 4.0” networking, the entire production, including data packages, is controlled and operated via the ERP. There is often insufficient knowledge regarding the requirements and the procedure for the secure introduction of an ERP system.

Therefore ,the aim had to be to trace, analyse and document the entire process from safety analysis to conception and implementation.

In this context, the focus was on two questions: What problems are there in existing processes and what IT security requirements must be met? AWB was available as a project partner and successful pilot.

Highest requirements by the Federal Office

The PRAISE methodology helps to systematically identify vulnerabilities in the IT and OT of companies and to close security gaps. With little time, cost and personnel effort, PRAISE increases the level of security exactly where needed. Subsequent repetitions of the methodology increase the quality and effectiveness of the measures taken.

For this purpose, the PRAISE methodology refers to the IT-Grundschutz Compendium of the BSI (Federal Office for Information Security) at appropriate points as an established and recognised reference work for security measures.

AWB consistently implements the experiences and results from the PRAISE project. The results from the study are available to SMEs and can be requested via https://www.secuvera.de/praise/ or via the Federal Ministry of Education and Research https://www.forschung-it-sicherheit-kommunikationssysteme.de/projekte/praise.

AWB consistently implements IT security in all areas of the company

The PRAISE methodology increases the cyber security of small businesses in three simple steps:

Step 1: Questionnaire
The company-specific IT/OT peculiarities are collected within the framework of the submission of a questionnaire.

Step 2: On-site appointment
In an on-site appointment, the “crown jewels” of the company are identified and a short audit regarding IT/OT security is carried out.

Step 3: Report
In the last step, the results are compiled in the form of a report.

These three steps create a general baseline level of cyber security.

Confidence-building measures for business partners

Precisely because IT/OT security is an essential part of trusting cooperation for most of AWB’s business partners, such as Siemens, GE or MTU, this methodology is also recommended in principle for all SMEs – especially for companies that are in the supply chain of companies with sensitive data.

Regular repetitions strengthen IT and cyber security

Once established, PRAISE can be repeated as often as desired at any time intervals.

This verifies the effectiveness of the implemented measures and strengthens the security level that has already been created. Furthermore, a repetition also takes into account changes in the company and in the cyber threat situation.

Prevent the cyber attack with AWB

High damage and loss of image for affected companies

According to a KPMG survey, the damage per cyber incident amounts to well over half a million Euros. Violation of company and business secrets ranks first, followed by violation of copyrights and data theft. If, as a result, there is also a profound loss of the company’s image (being considered a reliable business partner to customers and suppliers), further financial damage is imminent.

We always play it safe for you!

SMEs in particular are often faced with the problem of limited financial resources, lack of expertise and lack of easy-to-use tools. AWB is your reliable partner here:

AWB is strongly pushing the topic of Industry 4.0 – the security of customer data always has top priority!

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