• German Machine Tool Builders' Association
  • vdw@vdw.de
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Security of Machine Tools

The digital transformation of manufacturing, especially of machine tools and plants, is steadily advancing. Control components that were previously operated as stand-alone solutions are being networked company-wide or directly connected to each other via the internet and interact with software services in the cloud. This creates so-called cyber-physical systems.

These systems are increasingly being targeted by hackers, as they are often very easy targets for cyber attacks. Malware (such as “Mirai”, “Hajime”, “WannaCry” or “Petya”) enables attackers to quickly and significantly impair the availability of plants and machines; production processes come to a standstill, resulting in economic losses costing millions. In addition to the extorted money payments, companies often also suffer great damage to their image.

The operator himself can make an initial and important contribution to secure machine operation. Information on and suggestions for this have already been presented elsewhere [1] In order to be able to adequately combat threats, plant and machine manufacturers will also have to attach much more importance to security in the future – both in the construction of the machines and in their operation. “Security by design” is a method that has been successfully applied in software development for many years. Transferred to machine and plant construction, it is applied in the international standard IEC 62443.


[1]  IT-Security in Machine Tools – end user guideline

Security for Machine tools – manufactures guideline