Factories of the future and suppliers of cutting edge solutions met at MeetDistrict at Ghelamco Arena (Ghent) in order to discuss cyber security, illustrated by pitches and compelling use cases.

But why should you invest in cyber security? Which technologies are used today to deal with the various types of attacks? What is the impact on business and organisations? Which steps should you follow for optimum security?

Cyber security is a series of technologies, processes and practices aimed at protecting networks, computers and data against attacks, damage and unauthorised access. In an IT context, the term 'security' covers both cyber security and physical security.

Cyber security challenges

Our first observation: cyber security is constantly changing, according to technologies and hackers' imaginations. It's not always easy to protect yourself effectively on an everyday basis. Thankfully, suppliers are well-equipped to help companies reduce the risk of an attack and innovative companies are ready to tell their stories.

Here is an overview of their presentations.

At Nviso, they note that it's relatively easy to take control of devices, particularly in this age of Internet of Things. So a 'security culture' is required! For Howest, the decentralisation of the IT system has significantly increased network security and performance. At Sirris, they consider that cyber security could be an eighth transformation that companies must undergo in order to become 'factories of the future', as it has become so vitally important.

Nviso helps companies to protect their IT systems, while Howest college (Bruges/Kortrijk) provides cyber security training and raises awareness about the subject.

'We must also raise awareness among companies who put solutions on the market that are not secure enough, and not only factory managers'

Herman Derache, Sirris, Agoria

For Van Hoecke, ensuring the continuity of operations is the main reason to invest in cyber security.  Paul Verhulst highlighted the importance of being vigilant during software updates and also the need to segment the network (LANs). Finally, Erik Dierinck, manager at IT Newtec, explained that the Cloud was often more robust than internal systems, and insisted on the human aspect in order to achieve excellence.

Impacts on the organisation

In order to deal with attacks, the organisation and human resources must adapt and become more flexible, which is not so simple in large groups. What's more, everyone is concerned, as risky behaviour on the site or at home can have dramatic consequences. Competences and tasks must be shared between colleagues.

The management must make a full commitment and invest in security as it's difficult to make a 50% commitment to this type of approach.

'We need to build a security culture'

 Daan Raman, Nviso

 Impacts on Business 

The security of products can offer an advantage over the competition. It is increasingly important for clients to purchase a robust product, and you need to offer the right business model to your market. Considering security when creating the product design can allow your client to make great savings.

'It's always a question of liability. Newtec needs to demonstrate high-level security to customers and become a competitive advantage'

Erik Dierinck, Newtec  

In the end, it doesn't matter whether the main motivation is internal or external, security is everyone's concern, employees, partners and clients, and it's vital in order to ensure the continuity of operations.

Don't hesitate to contact us in order for Agoria or Sirris to support you with your procedures.