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Industrial Robots and the Peril of Cyber Attack

August 31, 2020

One of the effects of the coronavirus pandemic is likely to be the increasing use of industrial robots. The combination of artificial intelligence, large data sets and lower priced electronics is making robots an attractive alternative to humans for repetitive tasks.

By 2027, the industrial robot market is predicted to exceed $66 billion worldwide. In the United States, 70% of industrial robots are used in auto, electronics, plastics/chemicals and metals manufacturing.

Since robots are usually connected to computer networks and programmed by software, they are vulnerable to cyber attacks much like humans. Hackers can use flaws in computer programs to gain access to networks, steal files and manipulate sensitive data.

According to a post in Cyber Security Intelligence, researchers at Trend Micro have discovered vulnerabilities in both proprietary programming and open source software for industrial robots. Measures were taken to correct the vulnerabilities. However, this is a warning that cyber security is as important for machines as for people..