A spotlight on industrial security.

A spotlight on industrial security.

As operations and services are becoming more and more automated and digitally connected, product developers and process designers must also account for the possibility of attacks by malicious actors. There is clear evidence that security threats are on the rise, globally and across our industries.

At HBC, security has always been a core element of all design concepts and implementations. Our design processes ensure that HBC products stay up to date with the state of the art, and comply with (or exceed) all relevant technical standards applicable to our field.

Just some of HBC’s product implementations to address data security and protection against potential malicious attacks include:

  • Our RF communication is fully encrypted and has repeatedly withstood penetration testing.
  • We offer user identification cards as intelligent keys to access our systems – a feature that has been positively recognized in Trend Micro’s 2019 comprehensive study on the security of remote control systems (the complete study can be found here).
  • Features like radiomatic® range control ensure the operator’s physical presence is confirmed within a specified range on site.

In the context of device security, it has been brought to our attention by our valued customers that a recent publication in the September 2023 issue of CRANES & ACCESS has suggested that HBC products may be prone to security risks by displaying a picture of an HBC system in an article discussing security threats to radio remote control systems. While the article references the Trend Micro survey, the author of which has since also published the results in several scientific publications, it does not properly represent the findings of Trend Micro’s survey. That survey mentions HBC as one of 17 different manufacturers that were reviewed in the course of the 2019 study, however, and importantly, no security issues were identified with the HBC technology under test. We are not aware of any more recent studies.

This finding confirms our design approach and is obviously good news for our customers. Yet we regret to see such misleading articles that misrepresent the facts and create doubt and confusion in the marketplace.

Security is a major concern for all of us and we would like to extend an open invitation for you to approach HBC to gather more detailed information about the many ways in which we handle security for radio remote control solutions. Of course, the nature of technology is that it is rapidly changing and evolving, therefore, we welcome the opportunity to have an in-depth discussion with you to ensure the version and features of your HBC products adequately address any security risks applicable to your specific use and application.

In the near future, we expect the European Directive (EU) 2022/2555 (“NIS2”), as well as corresponding national legislation to set the standard for the secure operation of IT (information technology) and OT (operational technology) systems. Also, the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) is developing the comprehensive IEC 62443 standards series that addresses cyber security for operational technology in automation and control systems.

We strongly welcome the industry’s efforts to provide a solid framework for approaching operational security and will be closely following its continued development by aligning our products accordingly and to contributing to the advancement of those standards where possible.

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