By Antoinette Hodes, Check Point Solutions Architect EMEA, Office of the CTO.
What was the industrial revolution?
The technical advances of new technologies fundamentally changed how we manufacture and produce goods. The new production technologies were completely different compared to what we used in the past. The Industrial Revolution was a period that led to a huge technological, economic, social and cultural change.
It represents was the transition from creating goods by hand to creating good by machines. In other words, the mechanization of the production process. The textile industry was one of the first motivators of the industrial revolution. Due to this, the culture changed, as a migration from rural areas to big cities began. Many people worked in those newly developed factories. As new technologies were introduced, a transformation of transportation types took place as well.
In the first revolution, we moved from an agrarian economy to a manufacturing economy. And with that, we increased production processes, making them more effective and efficient.
In the infographic, you can see five industrial revolutions. Beyond that, we can debate about Industry 6.0 too. Please allow me to get back to that later.
The first industrial revolution started in England and spread out to Europe in the 19th century. Industry 1.0 was all about mass production carried out by machines. Those mechanical processes used steam and waterpower. Highlights of this era were water wheels, steam engines, coal mining and weaving looms. The weaving loom was first developed in 1784. The lower-class workers, often children, were forced to work long hours and under dire circumstances. The Factory Act improved conditions. It stated that no child workers under the age of 9 were permissible and it limited working hours to 12 hours a day for people under 18 years of age.
The second industrial revolution is also widely known as the “technological revolution.” Industry 2.0 advances included mass production with assembly lines using electrical power. Think of telegraph, railroads networks, cars, electricity, electronic and mechanical devices. It began in the late 19th and continued into the early 20th century.
The third industrial revolution is also known as the “digital revolution”. It began in the 20th century and has continued into the 21st century. This is the PLC (Programmable Logic Controllers) epoch. The PLC changed the world. PLCs were designed to be easy to understand and are used by OT, Operation Technology environments like manufacturing. PLC are running software called Ladder Logic. Ladder Logic diagrams are graphical representations of a circuit’s diagrams of relay logic hardware itself.
Industry 3.0 effectively converted analog to digital. Examples include chips, transistors, and semiconductors. Although we’ve already moved on to Industry 4.0 and even Industry 5.0, Industry 3.0 is still here. Most of today’s factories are in in this level.
The fourth industrial revolution is also known as smart manufacturing.
Industry 4.0 is comprised of the complete product lifecycle and supply chain. Industry 4.0, which started in 2011, is still present today. Examples are machine-to-machine communication (M2M), autonomous robots, Industrial IoT (IIoT) and machine learning.
The fifth industrial revolution follows a human-centric model. It is about people utilizing all Industry 4.0 technologies to work faster, more effectively, efficiently, and better. As we saw in the Industry 4.0 era, in Industry 5.0, manpower is coming back to the factory to optimize processes.
The Industry 5.0 reorients priorities from shareholders to stakeholders. It is expanding on Industry 4.0.
Industry 5.0 is human-centric, sustainable, and resilient. It started in 2022. Examples are 3D printing, big data, 6G, blockchain, cloud computing, AI solutions, augmented & virtual reality and collaborative robots.
When it comes to the new industrial revolution, many OT environments are unable to fully adopt Industry 4.0 and Industry 5.0. They still live in the industry 3.0 realm and only have a few Industry 4.0 assets. They can’t adopt Industry 4.0, as many assets (think of devices that hold a serial interface) are not even connected to the network, let alone are they Smart, as they lack IP capabilities.
The few Industry 4.0 connected assets that have a network connection are often connected to very complex, distributed networks. And they offer new challenges, like IoT assets with their own security flaws. With those devices, the attack surface is expanding rapidly and even can be used a steppingstone into the network. In the last year, we have seen many attacks on those environments. Think, for example, of ransomware and supply chain attacks. The impact and damage of such an attack could be huge. In some cases, it was even disrupting critical processes.
The new revolution integrates cyberspace with the physical space. The COVID-19 crisis, geo politic situations, inflation, sustainability and the need to become “green” are the main drivers for yet another revolution, the 6th revolution.
That brings me to Industry 6.0.
Industry 6.0 offers more a holistic view on how new technologies can be applied worldwide. All with the focus on living in harmony with nature, being green and sustainable (zero emission and zero emissions). By connecting industries to industries worldwide, we can perform mass personalization and customization of services and products with very intelligent and dynamic supply chains.
Now that the new revolution is knocking on the door, cyber attackers are too. For example, attackers are exploiting vulnerabilities in Remote Access solutions to factory plants and manufacturing environments. And they are using social engineering to get access to assets and critical processes. We need to have the right security controls in place throughout all assets, including people of the factory plant, armoring them to become cyber security aware via educational awareness training sessions.
Network threat prevention, data security, compliance, access security, embedded security with runtime threat prevention, 5G, satellite and cloud security are hugely important too, if we really want to build zero trust, zero tolerance and zero waste environments and to make sure that cyber attacks are not going to cause damage or disruption.