IUNO – Taking the leap from current cyberattacks to future cybersecurity


A constellation of technology innovators outlines Industrie 4.0 guidelines

Official logo of IUNO, the German national reference project for IT security in Industrie 4.0

Wibu-Systems is on a mission to declare war on cybercrime and is not alone. The Federal Ministry of Research (BMBF) has given the green light to IUNO, a national reference project that brings together fourteen companies from the vanguard of the technological and security space in Germany and seven local research and academic institutions. The objective of this interdisciplinary research and development project is to provide an operational, scalable, robust, and efficient blueprint to assist industrial vendors and intelligent device manufacturers in their implementation of Industrie 4.0 processes.

Germany is Europe’s leading hub of industry and, as such, is suffering unprecedented attacks from criminals, terrorists, and spies from within and outside its borders. One third of German manufacturers have already had to confront themselves with this phenomenon and the economic losses it causes. 11.8 billion euros are lost each year in Germany alone due to cybercrime activity. Given the increasing complexity and vulnerability of information infrastructures, the public and the private sector are demanding answers and solutions. As the German government is engaging with NATO allies to set up a framework of conduct, the special role of this new working group is to protect networked production landscapes from cyber-attacks and espionage and ensure data integrity, authenticity, and confidentiality.

IUNO was kicked off on July 1st, but it was only last week that it gained public exposure with the launch of its dedicated website. Oliver Winzenried, CEO and founder of Wibu-Systems, has strongly advocated security policies and reference architectures for the industrial sectors for years; from his position as chair of the VDMA, the German Engineering Federation, he has been able to have a stronger impact on the future of modern security. On the occasion of IUNO’s take-off, he stated “Industrie 4.0 can relaunch Europe’s economy; the prerequisite for this industrial evolution to excellence is to integrate state-of-the art security techniques. Any manufacturing enterprise should have easy access to proven and reliable technologies that can safeguard its leap to smart manufacturing and protect product know-how as well as the investments required”.

The ultimate goal of the project is essentially the practical application of the new knowledge created in it. The security models resulting from the project will be abstracted and standardized in order to be cost effective and sustainable for users and to promote competition between collateral vendors. While current economic risks are keeping SMEs away from large investments in Industrie 4.0, the vast educational program of IUNO will ultimately foster enough trust and motivate medium-sized businesses to upgrade their facilities and supply services in their area of expertise, while relying on the added value of interconnected systems to prosper in the global competition.

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