Thinking Outside the Black Box: Scalable Use-Case Solutions for Factory IT Management



The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), once just a buzzword, has now become a vital part of the manufacturing ecosystem as companies strive to collect and analyze data to track Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) and create fully optimized processes. However, the increasing digitization of manufacturing brings new risks, and with cybercrime on the rise, manufacturing information technology (IT) professionals have a vested interest in preventing criminals from accessing networks, particularly as increasingly large amounts of data are moving across factory floors and between machines.

In some cases, manufacturers have turned to cybersecurity solutions that involve so-called “black boxes,” or systems that remain completely opaque to the user. This approach can be criticized as a form of “security through obscurity,” a concept that has been widely known among security experts since the late 1800s, when cryptographer Auguste Kerckhoffs developed what became known as Kerckhoffs’ principle: A properly designed security system – no matter whether it involves cryptography, locksmithing or cybersecurity – should remain secure even if everything but the key itself is public knowledge. No secret can remain safe forever, and the moment these black boxes are opened, they inevitably become worthless for securing data.

Download our Mazak SmartBox white paper to learn more about the Mazak SmartBox machine monitoring system.