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Industry 4.0 and Cyber-Physical Systems Raise the Data Integrity Imperative

October 24, 2017

Data integrity matters more than ever, and may seem more challenging than ever. Welcome to Industry 4.0, based on Cyber-Physical Systems (CPS) and data everywhere. Fortunately there’s a CPS that can address this situation.

Image source: Triton Innovation

 

Industry 4.0

Manufacturers are talking about the next “industrial revolution”, dubbed  “Industry 4.0”. This revolution will impact the economy just as profoundly as the shifts that preceded it. The move from craftsman to manufacturing originally kicked off by harnessing water and steam power. Then, electricity made mass production and the assembly line possible. More recently, computers allowed automation. Manufacturing has now entered a new phase Industry 4.0.

Industry 4.0 connects machines, systems, operators and companies as never before.  True to the term, this shift has the potential to revolutionize manufacturing. Anton Huber, former CEO of Siemens Automation, defined Industry 4.0 as follows: “Literally everything imaginable connected to a network so that information from all these connected ‘things’ can be stored, transferred, analysed and acted upon in new, and usually automated ways via network connections with everything else.” source: Nathan Robinson, The Leadership Network (@nrobinsonn)

Manufacturers expect to realize some significant benefits by continuing to move in this direction. The survey results below from an article written by Greg Cline (@Aberdeen_Greg) with the Aberdeen Group show what industry professionals think a key enabler for Industry 4.0, the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), will deliver.

Cyber-Physical Systems

Another name for internet-enabled “things” (the “T” in “IIoT”) is Cyber-Physical Systems (CPS). CPS are defined as “integrations of computation, networking, and physical processes. Embedded computers and networks monitor and control the physical processes, with feedback loops where physical processes affect computations and vice versa.” In short, CPS is where virtual and physical worlds come together. When products and production equipment become CPS, companies can create a truly networked manufacturing process that allows communication between machines, systems and humans.

Nymi offers a CPS solution called the Nymi Band that delivers always-on multi-factor authentication.

Data Integrity Imperative

The sheer amount of data generated by manufacturing facilities makes it very challenging to ensure data integrity. Given that more will be done automatically, it’s also critically important that those overseeing operations can trust the data. Authentication, traceability and non repudiation are cornerstones to data integrity during the shift to this new industrial reality.

Many IT departments (wisely) require 2-factor authentication. Unfortunately, today’s authentication approaches create user friction and decreased efficiency. This is because enterprise authentication is fragmented. Companies typically use some combination of authenticator apps, hard and/or soft tokens, keys, OTP tokens, passwords, PINs and biometrics.

Layer onto this the need for regulatory compliance, and it becomes obvious that manufacturers must shift how they handle authentication.

At this inflection point, we feel it’s critically important to shift the conversation from how authentication is currently being handled as a “point-in-time” event, to one where users are in a continuously authenticated state throughout their workday. This allows an enterprise – and its regulators – to have far greater trust in who is doing what, and when.

This is all possible with the Nymi solution: featuring a wearable device called the Nymi Band: a multi-factor, biometrically authenticated hard token. Our CPS provides Always on Authentication™ with no wasted effort.

 

Next month: Authentication and its impact on productivity

 

For more information about the Nymi solution, visit Nymi.com/solutions or contact us.


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