Ethernet-based production systems are becoming increasingly well-established. Easy integration into Intranet and Internet, the high bandwidth of up to Gigabits per second and decreasing costs of industrially specified cables, connectors, switches, and routers are the reasons behind this development. The other side of the coin is an increased risk of malfunctions and production interruptions due to security loopholes in industrial networks.
For this reason, an internal risk analysis was conducted at Volkswagen AG's Emden car body production plant and the security of the systems was scrutinized, including their control technology. The result: sensitive production systems were insufficiently protected against unauthorized access because attacks can be triggered by malware, inadvertent access or unintentional misentries during internal network operations and their prevention by centralized firewalls is very complex and not cost-effective.