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NEXCOM's ISA 140 Security Appliance Safeguards Smart Factory Assets

By Alex Passett
January 31, 2023

Best characterized by the introductions of smart machines and the boom of the global smart factory market, Industry 4.0 (i.e. the fourth industrial revolution) is well upon us. As businesses navigate Industry 4.0 (with special regards to intelligent automation and the high demand for state-of-the-art interconnectivity), the applications for informed, real-time data seem without end. But to sustain such progress, first comes security.

NEXCOM, a supplier of network appliances and solutions for Industry 4.0, has officially installed next-gen Industrial Control System (ICS) security appliances within one of its own smart sites. Specifically, ISA 140.

ISA 140 is a compact, fanless DIN rail box. It is powered by Intel’s latest dual-core Atom processor (plus it features Ethernet connectivity via six LAN ports), and it offers Wi-Fi and LTE kits and out-of-band (OOB) remote management to expand its wireless use cases. Designed for the protection of key assets in industrial settings, it is functional in areas with diverse temperature changes and is easy to embed in existing network infrastructure without interrupting manufacturing productivity.

To test the ISA 140 and secure the OT network at the aforementioned NEXCOM Smart Manufacturing Site, multiple ISA 140 security appliance units were deployed at certain points throughout the factory. Installing them was quick and required zero shutdowns of factory equipment, and the eSAF cybersecurity software packaged installed on the ISA 140s provided strong network visibility. This allowed the NEXCOM on-site team to monitor factory zones with ease, ensuring equipment remained safeguarded.

Peter Yang, NEXCOM’s CEO, spoke about safety in particular, as cybersecurity for IIoT technologies is a sure-fire must. Data collection sensors that analyze manufacturing processes can’t be left susceptible to malicious disruptions.

“A smart factory works in real time, thus exposing its networks and the manufacturer to potential operational risks,” Yang said. “Legacy equipment can’t be easily outfitted with the security software the industry currently requires, so accelerating to become less of a target for cybercriminals is significant. We aim to put more attention on this aspect of digital transformation.”

More pertinent information for Industry 4.0 smart manufacturers can be found here.

Edited by Alex Passett
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