Protection Measures for the Smart Industrial Automation World
13.09.2023 John Poulson
The security and integrity of mission critical software, particularly software used by governments or for controlling critical infrastructure, is under intense scrutiny for its trustworthiness and the vendor’s ability to mitigate risks from vulnerabilities that can be compromised. The MIT Technology Review Insights “Cyber Defense Index (CDI) 2022/23", for example, has recently published its first annual comparative ranking of the world’s 20 largest and most digitally forward economies on their preparation against, and response and recovery from, cybersecurity threats. It measures how economies use technology and digital practices against cyberattacks, and how policy promotes secure digital transactions.
What impact do these cybersecurity concerns and future regulatory policies have on the connected industrial world as it undergoes the digital transformations heralded as Industry 4.0?
Wibu-Systems USA recently joined the Association for Advancing Automation (A3), which represents more than 1,200 organizations in North America involved in advanced robotics, artificial intelligence, machine vision & imaging, motion control & motors, and related automation technologies. One of our objectives in joining A3 is to engage in the important cybersecurity discussions that are affecting the automation industry vendors and play an integral part in creating the security-by-design best practices to protect the advancements driven by next generation of industrial software.
At the Automate 2023 Show, hosted by A3, I spoke with many of the manufacturers on the exhibition floor about their digital transformation and it was clear that software security was a major concern. And for those companies with systems involved with critical infrastructure, the questions were focused on when and how governments may step in with a set of software cybersecurity measures that apply specifically to the smart industry sector.
In advanced industrial automation scenarios, application software is an extremely valuable company asset. Software is indispensable for controlling critical functions, collecting and analyzing data, and monetizing applications through flexible licensing schemes. Unfortunately, software is also one of the most vulnerable vectors for malicious attacks, including reverse engineering, code cloning, code tampering and counterfeiting (product piracy).
As a representative for Wibu-Systems, I spent much of my time discussing our CodeMeter software security technology and how manufacturers around the globe use our CodeMeter system to protect their software and digital assets with strong encryption, authentication and access control technology while enabling new software monetization strategies with a flexible licensing entitlement management system.
For example, MVTec Software, a leader in machine vision application development software, uses CodeMeter to equip its product portfolio with sophisticated licensing and protection capabilities. ArtiMinds Robotics, a developer of software used to standardize workflows for industrial automation using advanced robotics, employs CodeMeter to protect their groundbreaking algorithmic technology and safeguard it from reverse engineering and piracy attacks.
A senior manager and well respected security industry expert, John has worked in business development and sales for Wibu-Systems USA since 2001. When not consulting with customers on software licensing and protection solutions, John attends industry trade shows and conferences to stay abreast of the latest developments in the IT world. Prior to Wibu-Systems, John worked for Micro Security Systems, Eagle Data, and Griffin Technologies, all pioneers in software security.
Over the years, John has authored several blog articles on topics of general interest in cryptography as well as monetization of embedded systems in new and innovative ways.