As industrial operations and traditional information technologies continue to merge (OT-IT convergence), the risks from cyberattacks are constantly increasing – for manufacturing companies as well as for operators of critical infrastructures. While attackers have so far primarily targeted the IT infrastructures of organisations, in networked industrial environments, operational components such as control and automation systems are also increasingly being targeted by criminals. This not only causes economic damage, but in the case of critical infrastructures such as power plants or hospitals, can also lead to serious consequences for people and the environment. To better understand the risks and challenges of this development, PwC Germany has opened the Cyber Security Experience Center in Frankfurt.
Practical illustration of technological operating procedures
In Frankfurt, PwC Germany is showing a scaled-down, fully networked model ecosystem with technologies from the most important areas of critical infrastructure – from power plants and robot-assisted manufacturing to digitally networked hospitals. All models are connected to physical PLC and ICS/SCADA networks, and linked to monitoring solutions from different manufacturers. With this practical test set-up, the security experts can demonstrate the attack vectors and the possible consequences of an attack directly on the respective technologies and give important tips for prevention.
Raising awareness of risks and challenges
According to the PwC Global Digital Trust Insights 2022, almost half of the companies surveyed expect an increase in state-initiated attacks on critical infrastructure. Visitors to the Cyber Security Experience Centre will experience first-hand the consequences of a cyberattack and how to defend against such attacks. The model’s highly developed security framework and defence concept allow visitors to demonstrate various attacks and experiment with different countermeasures. The experts on site can apply these demonstrations to a range of industry scenarios. Currently, there are modules for power generation, natural gas distribution, manufacturing, patient monitoring, mobility and building management. In addition, professionals can simulate other industry scenarios using a digital twin.