Key Security and Privacy Considerations for 5G-enabled Solutions in Industrial Automation

March 1, 2024
Intersecting IT and OT means that engineers and manufacturers must address new security concerns. Verizon Business’ Michael Weller offers insight on how to tackle these challenges.

As the demand for real-time data from the shop floor increases, the traditional separation between operational technology (OT) and corporate informational technology (IT) worlds is being challenged. The intersection of IT and OT presents new security concerns that manufacturers must address, according to Michael Weller, practice lead for manufacturing, energy and utilities at Verizon Business.

In this final part of a three-part video series, Weller offers Power & Motion some insights about key security and privacy considerations for engineers and manufacturers when adopting 5G-enabled solutions, including:

  • Business continuity. Manufacturers should consider the use of private wireless networks to ensure business continuity in the event of a cyberattack. These networks can provide a self-contained and resilient connectivity solution, according to Weller. This would allow plants to continue to operate even during a security incident.
  • Inherent security capabilities. The 5G network offers advanced security features, such as 256-bit encryption, which provide a higher level of security compared with four networks, Weller said.
  • Video analytics. The use of video analytics can help manufacturers gain better visibility into their operations. This can be useful in detecting preconditions to potential fires or monitoring the movement of assets within the factory.
  • Multiple use case integration. To drive the next level of maturity and adoption of 5G-enabled solutions, manufacturers should focus on integrating multiple use cases. This is “a brilliant way to demonstrate the power of these use cases, but also to change hearts and minds and get more adoption and get more momentum for moving the project forward,” Weller said.

Watch additional parts of this interview series with Michael Weller of Verizon Business:

About the Author

Sharon Spielman | Technical Editor, Machine Design and Power & Motion

Sharon Spielman is a technical editor for Power & Motion and its affiliate publication Machine Design. As technical editor, her beat includes 3D printing/CAD; mechanical and motion systems, with an emphasis on pneumatics and linear motion; automation; robotics; and AR/VR.

Sharon has more than three decades of experience as a writer and editor for a range of B2B brands, including those that cover electrical design and manufacturing; interconnection technology; food and beverage manufacturing; process heating and cooling; finishing; and package converting. 

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