CyberSecurity for Robots?

Robots are widely used in industrial production environments and increasingly in logistics, healthcare and home appliances. Most of the traditional robot systems are being operated by a PLC and / or a specific robot controller. But even while being isolated in industrial networks,these machines are not free from harm. Both human safety and product quality are at stake.But more increasingly flexible, autonomous and versatile robots have entered in to the industrial domain. Collaborative robots are being released from their cages and put in close cooperation with humans. That positive trend also sees a significant decline in cost for robotics. Partially thanks to the availability of standard technologies (internet / IoT, OPC/UA, ROS, cloud, Azure Sphere, …) and the interconnectivity of the robotic systems. But most of the robotic systems lack a fundamental cybersecurity posture. LSEC and have joined TRINITY as part of the Digital Transformation program of the European Commission, bringing together Cybersecurity experts and robotics experts and improving the overall cybersecurity gesture of robotic implementations. LSEC and are Digital Innovation Hubs and Centres of Excellence in Cybersecurity and Digital Transformation for Manufacturing in Europe and applying their expertise into the highly impactful domain of robotics.

  1. Does your production-environment use Robots or are you considering the
    installation of (industrial) Robots?
  2. Is your organisation in the process of a digital transformation / becoming
    an Industry 4.0 or Smart Factory? Are you planning on or already utilizing
    agile manufacturing?
  3. Did you apply a risk-based approach on your production and
    manufacturing, on your organization and its activities? Do you have a
    reasonable view on risks that could damage your organisation and your
    activities in the domain of systems and digitalization?
  4. Did you assess your Robots on their Cybersecurity vulnerabilities?
  5. Are you considering in acquiring and installing Robots and would you like
    to be guided on requirement definitions related to cybersecurity?

Cybersecurity for Robots is complex, requires a systematic approach There are different approaches possible in trying to improve the Robots cybersecurity. These have to be systematic from an industrial perspective, depending on the risk they impose the factory and the situation. Isolation is a start, hardening access control, putting cryptographic measures in place and improving the application security are basic measures. A lot can be done by the robot manufacturers by ensuring security by design for the robot controllers, the robots and the applications instructing and controlling them.