Tuesday, 02 June 2020
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Blockchain Technology Adds Link to Digital Manufacturing Success

Industrial centric security offering delivers flexible and controlled sharing of data with tamperproof authenticity, privacy and integrity.

Being able to access and leverage the various data streams common in increasing digital environments is crucial for manufacturers. After all, access to production, supply chain and customer data enables manufacturers to improve yields, boost efficiency levels and capitalize on new manufacturing opportunities including mass customization.

Personalized immunotherapy drugs used for cancer treatment are a prime example. As a product that is continuously altered based on an individual's health and how they are reacting to the treatment, immunotherapy requires a continuous data flow between customer, medical facility, manufacturer and production facility.

“Sharing this data securely across multiple parties enables manufacturers to automate, and therefore scale, such treatment options, Xage Security CEO Duncan Greatwood tells IndustryWeek. “However, current solutions are not yet fully automated, requiring people to obtain and share data. With IoT, there is an opportunity to fully automate this process – from the machine that captures data from the customer to the production facility creating the drug – enabling significant cost savings that can make these types of treatments widely available. Data security and accuracy is paramount to creating such a fully automated multi-party solution.”

Another example involves production yields at manufacturing facilities. In order to determine and improve production yields, manufacturers need to consider multiple factors like components, environment and processes, which often requires obtaining data from multiple sources and sensors throughout the manufacturing floor.

“Manufacturing networks are commonly designed to the Purdue Model, with multiple levels all the way from sensors at the edge to enterprise data centers,” he says. “Unfortunately, each layer can only communicate one layer up, making it difficult to extract data from a sensor and move it to the data center. As such, it's not uncommon to use techniques such as USB drives to get the data across to the enterprise side resulting in data loss, manipulation and theft.”

Traditional manufacturing security solutions have emphasized network segmentation and network security, together with intrusion detection, explains Greatwood. “These are valid forms of security, but they do not on their own provide the foundation for digital transformation projects,” he says. “Manufacturers need granular control down to the level of individual machines and individual data streams so that sharing, multi-location and real-time multi-party cooperation can be fully and safely enabled.”

Xage accomplishes this with its blockchain-protected cybersecurity solution, enforcing tamperproof data security for industrial environments resulting in authenticity, integrity and privacy as data moves between applications, machines, locations or even organizations.

The blockchain approach leveraged by Xage Security Fabric ensures data authenticity by guaranteeing the data’s originating source, integrity by ensuring data content has not been changed, and privacy by ensuring authorized access only. The key components include:

- Digitally hashing, signing and encrypting the data at source;
- Storing the resulting security metadata in the fabric;
- Replicating the metadata across the Fabric to all the places consuming data;
- Enabling every authorized data user to verify the data’s authenticity and integrity; and
- Delivering granular data sharing and access management enforcement under the control of policies set by each data producer via the no-single-point-to-hack fabric.

Xage also creates new opportunities for secure remote work and remote cooperation across and between multiple industrial organizations, including various levels of fine-tuned control. This universal protection enables businesses to create new revenue on existing assets, adopt new technology, increase operational efficiency, capitalize on new market opportunities, as well as improve safety, and reduce environmental impact.

source: industryweek.com

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