From Digital Revolution to Information Security Evolution

by Pierluigi Olivari, ANIE Automazione Managing Board

Automation is perhaps the most impacting technology at the strategic level, as productive innovations can take shape and generate development just starting from it. We probably do not realize it, but modern technologies are already bringing us to new scenarios yet to be discovered and explored. Visionaries hypothesize a forthcoming evolutionary phase, which will no longer see technology as the protagonist, but information: the current transformation made by the digital will turn towards a new paradigm, where interpreted data and intelligent information will be at the center of everything. If we think about it, it has already started to be like this in everyday life. Big Data and Internet of Things are examples of what we have just said: the effects of communication technologies on the current organizational models are such to have changed many of the traditional concepts according to which the factory and its automation has been conceived. Masayoshi Son – CEO of SoftBank Group Corp. and president of ARM Holdings – expects that by 2035 all over the world something like a trillion IoT devices will communicate with each other, a thousand billion interconnected devices to form a distributed data base from fantastic potentiality. Maybe these numbers are risky, but they give the idea of the future potentiality.
Even in the industrial production field, the value of modern automation solutions – recently grown thanks to new tools such as IoT communication, Big Data and other enabling technologies – allows machines, plants and companies to reach ever higher levels of efficiency. This ever-changing scenario opens a second: that of risks related to information management. Security is not a new issue for the automation sector; nevertheless, cyber security shows itself in all its importance precisely in relation to the wide acceptance that the IoT is having at the factory level. As with many other fields and sectors, also in this case associations can play a very important role in terms of culture and technical awareness. ANIE Automazione has for time focused on the issue of cyber security, as a field on which focus more and more in view of the impact that IoT will also have at the lower levels of the factory systems.