Information Security in Critical Infrastructures: Challenges and Perspectives in the Industry 4.0 Era

In a recent study, Anton Holmström, Åsa Ericson, and Johan Lugnet shed light on the growing challenges and perspectives surrounding information security in critical infrastructure sectors. Industry 4.0 is bringing about significant changes in various industries, indicating the increasing importance of ensuring information security practices.

Drawing insights from interviews with practitioners who find themselves at the intersection of Information Technology (IT) and Operational Technology (OT), the study navigates the nuances of role and responsibility. One important finding from their research is that IT and OT practitioners focus on security differently. This difference highlights the need to change how we think about security. Instead of relying solely on technical solutions, we should adopt a more comprehensive approach considering human and organizational factors.

The study has identified some key challenges that need to be addressed, which include the following:

  • People’s roles and responsibilities have a significant impact on security reasoning. Therefore, it is crucial to have a unified security perspective across IT and OT domains.
  • There is an urgent need for a shift in mindset towards security practices. This shift advocates for a more inclusive approach focusing on technical fixes and addressing human and organizational dimensions.
  • The emergence of Industry 4.0 technologies in critical infrastructure has brought new information security challenges. These challenges arise due to the increased interconnectedness and external integration of systems.

This research examines the current state of information security in critical sectors and suggests future research directions. It highlights the importance of understanding how human behaviors, roles, norms, and attitudes influence security practices. By advocating for a comprehensive security approach that considers human, technical, and organizational factors, their study provides a roadmap for navigating the complex landscape of information security in an interconnected Industry 4.0 world.

This study calls on practitioners and researchers to rethink information security in critical infrastructures. As we move deeper into the digital age, addressing the multifaceted challenges of information security in the context of Industry 4.0 will become increasingly crucial to protecting our most vital sectors against the evolving threat landscape.


You can read more about it here: Industry 4.0 Introduction in Critical Infrastructure: Information Security Reasoning in Practice