The industry represents approximately 24 % of the gross value added of the Basque Country (compared to 19 % of the EU-15), more than 90 % of exports and about 40 % of total expenditure on R&D&i, according to data from the SPRI, the Basque Agency for Company Development. This therefore represents a crucial sector in the Basque economy, which is currently undergoing a transformation process.
The industrial sector is adapting to a new industry 4.0 environment, distinguished by the connectivity of machines. The exchange of information between different parts of the factory brings about many advantages, such as improved maintenance or the increased scope of new services. As firm believers in the importance of this model for boosting global competitiveness, Basque companies are readily embracing it.
However, this new panorama also brings some new threats, which companies are having to face up to. Digital connectivity leaves the door open for cyberattacks in the form of sabotage and theft of confidential information.
"At IK4-IKERLAN, we have specialised in technologies which form part of the industrial electronic systems of the future: reliable embedded systems, robust industrial communications, and mass censoring or analysis of data, among others, and based on this, we have built a team specialised in cybersecurity which is already offering solutions to companies", explains the head of industrial cybersecurity at IK4-IKERLAN, David González.
The centre works in this field with companies of different sizes and sectors. These collaborations range from the development of secure electronic devices based on cryptographic chips to the design and implementation of cybersecurity measures in industrial control systems.