Security Issues Affecting the Future of Cyber-Physical Systems

The cyber-physical system (CPS) is precisely built with the digital and physical aspects in mind. Similar to the Internet of Things (IoT), the devices within a CPS are integrated to ensure efficiency and adaptability — but there are a few security issues affecting its future.

The Smart CPS and the Old Operating Systems

A cyber-physical system is designed for optimal scalability. It’s meant to remain secure and useful for as long as possible — even as new technologies emerge. Today, there are smart cyber-physical systems (CPSs) that promise to help businesses manage and analyze tons of information.

But while this should be a welcome development, there are still worries related to cybersecurity. Even if better CPSs are made available to various industries, it’s known that not all companies are as secured as they should be. There are still those that have computers with outdated operating systems (OS).

Companies should not stick to the same old OS just because they still get the job done. For one, they are likely no longer receiving any new security patches. The lack of updates makes them more vulnerable to malware. If a CPS is infected with ransomware, companies stand to lose all their confidential data.

In particular, it was revealed that the manufacturing industry is still dealing with this problem. There are companies that are unwilling to invest in more secure systems.

The Need for Information Campaigns

A CPS is meant to interact with people. It’s a system that’s constantly providing data to workers around the clock. But no matter how efficient the devices in a CPS are, they won’t be of any value if people don’t know how to protect confidential information.

From governments to educational institutions, malware is still being introduced in computers through USB flash drives and CAD files. This is a wakeup call for every organization to improve their cybersecurity measures — and that includes teaching employees all about it.

People should know the answers to questions such as “Why won’t my VPN connect?” or “How can I change my firewall settings?”  Otherwise, it would be difficult for society to maximize the potential of cyber-physical systems.

Smart cyber-physical systems can greatly improve traffic and healthcare, among many others. They’re bound to be an essential component of smart cities. What’s important now is to ensure that they’re built with security and privacy in mind.