As digital technology continues to develop at a rapid rate many OEMs are turning to artificial intelligence (AI) and digital twin technology to carry out virtual tests on vehicles, create a virtual model of the factory, assess vehicle performance and much more.

However, when implemented into manufacturing locations this technology requires a continuous and reliable network connection which only 5G networks can provide. Unless this network is protected – alongside specialised 5G security infrastructure – devices run the risk of falling victim to ransomware attacks which could shut-down the whole site.

Private cellular network security company OneLayer, offers 5G protection which it says protects plants against mass ransomware attacks. If one set of cameras are hacked, the rest of them are not impacted, it says.

We spoke to Liron Ben Horin, vice president of systems engineering, to discuss the benefits that digital twin and AI technology brings to automotive manufacturing and much more.

Liron Ben Horin

Just Auto (JA): Could you provide some background on the company for our readers?

Liron Ben Horin (LBH): OneLayer, founded in 2021, provides enterprise-grade security for private LTE/5G networks. Its platform and IoT security toolkit can be implemented in private cellular networks to provide better visibility, control and protection for organizations.

The company was founded by world-class cybersecurity experts with a deep understanding of both cellular protocols and IoT security needs and veterans from the IDF’s 8200 and 81 intelligence units. OneLayer is backed by industry-leading advisors and has partnered with experts both in the cybersecurity domain as well as the telecom industry.

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OneLayer’s mission is to help enterprise network and security teams, including those with limited prior experience with cellular technologies, extend their enterprise security tools and strategies to private cellular networks.

What benefits do AI and digital twin technologies provide for automotive manufacturing plants?

AI and digital twin technologies create a virtual model of the factory, machinery, and cars to assess the performance of various products and materials to detect potential failures before they are put into production.

As a result, numerous tests can be carried out without affecting production. They can also be used for predictive maintenance of the machinery to enhance the health of production lines to detect faults and reduce downtime. These features prove to be crucial when developing mitigation strategies for manufacturing.    

What risks does this technology face?

As AI and digital twin technologies require continuous data collection from various IoT devices, such as sensors and cameras, many integrations are required.

Considering IoT devices are inherently less secure, it is necessary to adhere to best practice security methodologies – address known vulnerabilities, define endpoint privileges, implement encryption when possible, and update and patch software versions. The same security methodologies can also be applied to connected OT devices.

Why is it important to segment devices?

Network hygiene relies heavily on segmentation. Since new attacks will always emerge, no security tool can truly protect a network against any type of attack. A properly segmented network ensures that even if a breach occurs, the attacker’s access will remain as local as possible.

What role can 5G and other security tools play when taking manufacturing to the next level?

Network features provided by 5G are essential for modern manufacturing facilities. Applications and endpoints benefit from high bandwidth, low latency, reliable connectivity, and wide coverage.

Nevertheless, this network should also enjoy the same security benefits as other enterprise networks, such as asset management and segmentation, to ensure maximum productivity without worrying about cyberattacks.

How can solutions from OneLayer assist the industry when looking at traffic delays and other challenges?

OneLayer guarantees that any manufacturing facility that adopts LTE/5G for better connectivity will be able to unleash its full potential. We accomplish this by providing the same security standards of the enterprise network to this emerging technology.

OneLayer’s solution is software-only, and is based on integrations with the cellular core rather than a man-in-the-middle solution. Accordingly, no latency is being added to the network and the performance of the devices and critical components remain unaffected. This way, the factory can still enjoy the benefits of LTE/5G while remaining protected.

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