Use case

Automating legacy machinery and infrastructure for industry 4.0

Existing machinery and industrial infrastructure is being upgraded to become networked throughout all manufacturing and goods-handling industries. The easiest and in many cases — when the original machinery is too old to be updated from the inside — the only way to do so is to retrofit the equipment with industry 4.0 servers that provide the desired interactive functionality and that can connect to the legacy interfaces of the machinery. Yet, such solutions seldomly protect the infrastructure against cyberattacks. The old machinery was never designed to work in a networked environment; isolated from external threats, it takes no measures to protect sensitive data against abuse or manipulation. At the same time, such sensors and actuators cannot effectively be secured at the application layer. The machinery therefore becomes exposed to all vulnerabilities that come with the standard operating systems and applications on the new interfaces.

Secure switching creates an access point for machinery and industrial infrastructure that provides security at the point of connectivity irrespective of age and design philosophy for the legacy systems. With corresponding secure switches at various locations, infrastructure can also be networked across sites. The use of secure WiFi access points enables protected access to machinery control panels, dashboards and interfaces from anywhere in the world.

Secure switches solve the problem that expert knowledge on authentication, encryption and tunnelling is required to add essential security that is not part of the basic internet protocols.