Additive manufacturing is on the rise and its adoption is predicted to become prevalent in the future. Its application no longer revolves around manufacturing industries but had expanded to education, aerospace, medical sectors, and sport industries. Like any other implementation of new technology, additive manufacturing had it challenges and one of it being security issues. With additive manufacturing today being those of IT-OT convergence, the cyber risk had becoming more sophisticated than ever. What are the impact of increasing cyber risk to additive manufacturing?
Primarily, additive manufacturing builds a product by applying the layer by layer framework that is created and interpreted using a computer aided design (CAD) software. In other elaboration, it involves rapid transition from digital to physical product in 3D using a method that is hard to achieve through conventional manufacturing method. Eventually, additive manufacturing had shown high potential in addressing supply chain problems in manufacturing such as unpredictable inventory and expensive-to-produce parts in remote locations. While the outcome is promising, the reliant of additive manufacturing on digital files and network connectivity is heavier and this lead to bigger cyber risk exposure. The risk includes:
A firmware is the foundation of a hardware. With lack security, firmware in additive manufacturing can turn malicious through cyber attacks. As a results, an organisation will face negative impacts such as data theft which in turn causes various critical incidents such as stolen designs, loss controls on machines – printers become malfunction or offline) leading to business disruption or printing illegal products (ie; weapon) that can threaten life and safety.
Digital files breaches
Digital files include 3D CAD model, STL model file, sliced G-code file and build parameter data which are the components that carry instruction for 3D printing build operation. When infiltrated, these digital files can be tampered and results in hard-to-detect structural thus, consequently lead to property damage and litigation.
All in all, the impact of increasing cyber risk to additive manufacturing is damaging. With operational technology becomes more connected to the internet as well as the migration to the cloud, the cyber risk will continue to grow. Hence, it is important to embed security in the beginning stage of new technology implementation or planning.
E-SPIN Group in the business of enterprise ICT solutions supply, consulting, project management, training and maintenance, for multinational corporations and government agencies across the region E-SPIN did business, since 2005. Please feel free to contact E-SPIN for your requirements and project inquiry.
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