CyberSecurity 4.0

Strategic and case-specific Cyber-Security – for Industry 4.0 in SMEs

The goal of the 'CyberSecurity 4.0' project is to develop an SME-oriented cybersecurity framework and tools and guidelines as well as a learning environment specifically for Industry 4.0.

Initial Situation

The 'Cybersecurity 4.0' project is aimed at medium-sized manufacturers and their suppliers of production technology and cybersecurity technology. Industry 4.0 is driving the rapid digitalization of the manufacturing industry. However, the resulting networked data-driven production systems are leading to an exponential increase in the exposure of insecure legacy connection points and the exchange of sensitive data. Today, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the manufacturing industry and their suppliers cannot adequately mitigate these cybersecurity risks because they lack knowledge and solutions tailored to their needs. This leads to a greater impact of cybersecurity incidents and data breaches. The dramatic increase in organized cybercrime is bringing entire production lines to a halt. In a connected, digitized world, cybersecurity is not an option, but a critical factor for business continuity and reputation.

Solution Approach and Expected Result

The following project results contribute to an integral, case-specific cybersecurity framework for manufacturing SMEs:

  • Cybersecurity maturity model for Industrie 4.0, linked to the Acatech 'Industrie 4.0 Maturity Index';
  • framework for technical solutions and practical guidance to achieve cybersecurity goals;
  • modular cybersecurity demonstrator that integrates representative use cases of a networked production environment and simulated attack scenarios;
  • web platform for cybersecurity guidance, planning, reporting and AI-based risk analysis;
  • learning environment with gamification approach for threat modeling tailored to the needs of small and medium manufacturing companies.

Benefits for the Target Group

The 'CyberSecurity 4.0' project will develop an SME-oriented cybersecurity framework, tools, guidelines and a learning environment specifically for Industrie 4.0. This enables SMEs to address cybersecurity for their networked production systems and 'Industrie 4.0' applications. The project focuses on the most vulnerable and least considered areas of cybersecurity for Industry 4.0: operational technology, supply chain and data exchange. The results contribute to the 'Vlaams Beleidsplan Cybersecurity' by supporting security awareness, strategy and implementation with a solution that can be tailored to the specific situation of an SME.


  • IT, Software and Internet

Topic Area

  • Information Management

FIR Navigator

  • Cybersecurity
  • JRF Guiding Topic

    • Industry & Environment


    Funding no.
    328 EN
    Funding information

    The Cornet project 328 EN of the Research Association FIR e. V. at the RWTH Aachen University, Campus-Boulevard 55, 52074 Aachen, is funded via the AiF within the framework of the Cornet program for the promotion of international projects of pre-competitive joint research for the benefit of small and medium-sized enterprises by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action (BMWK) on the basis of a resolution of the German Bundestag.