Fueled by the further convergence of IT and OT, the global industrial control systems (ICS) market is growing. In fact, it is expected to rise from $16.7 billion in 2022 to $23.7 billion by 2027 with North America hosting the largest portion of the growth. A variety of industries such as manufacturing, chemicals, energy and utilities are positioned to continue evolving thanks to ICS expansion, and as they do, there will be trends to keep in mind. Let’s look at some of the concepts to garner attention in 2022.
Industrial Metaverse & Digital Twins
Metaverse is a buzzy word that seems to be driving a lot of conversation, including within the industrial sector. The industrial metaverse is an idea that could drive the future of “how people design, manufacture, and interact with physical entities across industries,” according to MIT Technology Review. And one of the ways it is impacting ICS is through the introduction of digital twins. Already a major element of Industry 4.0, digital twins are predicted to keep supporting upcoming iterations. Essentially allowing operators to create digital replicas of physical products or processes, this technology has already been applied by companies such as BMW and Boeing. With the advancement of AI, machine learning and edge computing, use is projected to rise even higher in the near future.
As ICS settings advance because of technology like digital twins and industrial metaverse, a major concern and topic that has increasingly gained traction is and will be cybersecurity. Throughout 2022, we have still been dissecting the lessons to stem from previous events such as the JBS Foods cyberattack. And the threat landscape has shown no signs of slowing down. On the contrary, hackers and other bad actors have become more sophisticated.
Just recently, the U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) released an ICS advisory warning that there have been several vulnerabilities discovered within the engineering software of Mitsubishi Electric GX Works3. Based on the advisory, these exposures could provide attackers with access to sensitive data ranging from unprotected credentials and a series of modules to hard-coded cryptographic key and hard-coded passwords.
Device Regulation for ICS Operators
In conjunction with technical innovations, cybersecurity is a throughline of the conversations to arise around ICS operations. Looking ahead, it is likely to continue steering the questions and challenges that we need to address. For instance, it will remain a significant part of the personal device use debate that has persisted. While permitting personal devices on the industrial floor provides staff with on-demand information that may be necessary, it can also create cybersecurity issues. An example of such a compromise could be a breach of company details included in an email, stored photos of equipment, etc.
Regardless of what 2023 brings, shifting tech, evolving practices and cybersecurity will carry over from 2022. As you navigate these paths, don’t forget that DYNICS is here to support your ICS journey. Please review our resources and services and reach out to our team with any questions.
- “Industrial Control Systems (ICS) Security Market Worth $23.7B by 2027, Report Says” – Dark Reading
- “The Industrial Metaverse: A Game-changer For Operational Technology” – MIT Technology Review
- “CISA Warns of Multiple Critical Vulnerabilities Affecting Mitsubishi Electric PLCs” – Ravie Lakshmanan, The Hacker News
- “Smartphones on the plant floor: BYOD or company issued?” – Wayne Labs, Food Engineering