3 min read

Cyber Risk Quantification and Mangement for the Manufacturing Industry

Featured Image

'Cyber Risk Quantification and Management for the Manufacturing Industry'  is written by DeNexus Inc.'s Director of OT Cybersecurity, Donovan Tindill and Ampere Industrial Security's Senior Consultant, Caleb Mathis.

The push towards Industry 4.0 is transforming the very fabric of the manufacturing sector and causing rapid adjustments for cyber security practitioners. Advanced technologies, such as smart factories and integrated supply chain management systems, are expanding the boundaries of traditional production environments.

Manufacturing Operations Management (MOM), Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES), Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), and Supply Chain Management (SCM) are redefining what is possible for operations, but with these advancements come cybersecurity challenges.

The integration of multiple systems, adherence to ISA-95 and ISA-88 standards, and the rise of interconnected devices have expanded the potential attack surface, making cybersecurity more intricate and paramount than ever.

Amidst this digital transformation, the interplay between vertical and horizontal integrations in the supply chain complicates the security landscape. ISA-95 and ISA-88 standards provide a robust framework for the integration and management of production and operations. However, the diversity of devices, vendors, and protocols—ranging from PLCs to Internet of Things (IoT) devices to WiFi-based RFID scanners—adds multiple layers of vulnerability.

Prioritizing OT cybersecurity is a good business practice in industrial  environments | Processing Magazine

Moreover, the threat of ransomware looms large over the manufacturing industry, particularly when considering the intricate mesh of connectivity within the Purdue model. Specifically, the challenge of effective segmentation becomes increasingly evident when Layer 4 of the Purdue model, responsible for ERP functions, is tightly interwoven with devices at the lower levels. This high degree of integration makes it easier for threats like ransomware to proliferate throughout the system.

Adding to the risk, is the significant number of remote vendor interactions, routine IT engagements, and on-site personnel in close proximity to the process. Given the deep interdependencies of ERP, MES, MOM, and SCM, a single ransomware attack has the potential to cripple these interconnected systems, causing a domino effect of disruptions across the entire production line and supply chain.

OT Plant Floor Visibility Critical for Cybersecurity - Efficient Plant


Beyond Protocols and Devices: Rethinking Security in Manufacturing. In the realm of manufacturing the push to adopt risk management and ransomware recovery strategies tailored to specific processes is more crucial than ever. For example, the nuances between batch and continuous production methodologies in manufacturing present distinctive cybersecurity challenges.

Batch processing, a common approach in pharmaceutical manufacturing, involves, for instance, producing medicine in separated lots, where production occurs in discrete stages. This system, while methodically segmented, can be vulnerable if a specific stage is compromised, potentially affecting the entire batch. For instance, a ransomware attack during a crucial phase, like the mixing or granulation stages, can lead to substantial losses, both in terms of financials and time.

On the other hand, continuous production processes, more prevalent in industries like food and beverage, run incessantly, producing end products without interruption. Such environments often possess multiple parallel production lines, allowing for a degree of redundancy. In the face of a cyber threat, the ability to instantly switch to another operational line can be a game-changer. Here, the emphasis on robust segmentation strategies is paramount, ensuring quick containment and a seamless continuation of production.

While both batch and continuous processing have their inherent strengths and weaknesses, their varied nature necessitates tailored cybersecurity approaches. For batch processes, the loss might be felt in the disruption of a critical batch, potentially halting production and incurring financial losses. Continuous processes, with their redundancy, might recover faster operationally, but they too face risks of prolonged exposure due to potential oversights in continuous operations.

In essence, understanding the unique intricacies of each manufacturing method is key to anticipating and mitigating associated cyber risks, ensuring the business remains resilient in the face of evolving threats.

Certified Risk Quality Management & DeRISK Cyber Risk Quantification and Management Platform: The Beacon in Industry 4.0's Complexity


To navigate this multifaceted landscape, forward-thinking organizations are turning to Certified Risk Quality Management systems. Leveraging platforms like DeNexus' DeRISK Cyber Risk Quantification and Management platform, manufacturing companies can amalgamate data from standards like NIST CSF,  ISO 27001 or DeNexus’ proprietary DNX CSF with the nuanced insights from facility managers, integrating them seamlessly with evidence-based data from various passive and active monitoring solutions across the manufacturing ecosystem.


By enhancing DeRISK integrated data powered by AI, ML and Probabilistic Inference with specific business operational metrics for manufacturing, DeRISK offers an enriched understanding of the overall risk profile. For individual facilities and complex portfolios. This convergence of Cybersecurity, Operational Technology, and business metrics ensures that organizations can gauge threats not just from a technical standpoint but also from a holistic, business-impact perspective.

On top of this, DeRISK enriches this integrated dataset by incorporating business operational metrics specific to manufacturing facilities (such as production efficiency ratios, equipment downtime percentages, and supply chain throughput rates). These metrics enable organizations to derive more nuanced insights into their overall risk profile, combining the typically siloed worlds of Cybersecurity and Operational Technology.

By synthesizing all of this data, DeRISK translates multifaceted insights into quantifiable business impact, thus allowing for well-informed, strategic decision-making facilitated by DeRISK Cyber Mitigation Project Simulator that aligns with both organizational goals and risk tolerance. This holistic approach provides an enhanced security posture that meets the high standards of multiple leading industry guidelines.



In conclusion, DeNexus understands the trajectory of Industry 4.0 and the growing intricacies it brings. By marrying cybersecurity risk quantification and management with the operational nuances of the manufacturing sector, DeRISK stands as a testament to the future of secure, efficient, and resilient manufacturing in the age of digital transformation.



Click Here to learn more about DeNexus Inc.'s comprehensive Cyber Risk Quantification and Management platform.

Click Here to read more about the DeNexus Knowledge Center and the DeNexus Trusted EcoSystem.   


See the Dashboard and Access The DeRISK Platform! 


DeNexus Partners with Claroty to Mitigate Operational Technology (OT) Risk in the Critical Infrastructure Industry

Strategic partnership and native integration will allow users to

more simply and comprehensively quantify and manage OT risk

Read More

DeNexus Accelerates Momentum with Strategic Investments from Leading Energy and Insurance Companies

Investments to Fast-Track Company Mission to Establish the Global Standard for Industrial Cyber Risk Quantification

Read More

DeNexus Expands Cyber Risk Management Solution to Manufacturing and Energy T&D

DeRISK empowers companies to regain control over their cyber risk

Read More