Cybersecurity is a largely overlooked issue in the additive manufacturing (AM) workflow. The AM digital twin is open to attacks including theft, sabotage and counterfeiting. There is an awareness and knowledge gap in tools and techniques to secure AM equipment and digital data besides “do not connect it to the network”. Many AM printers are already connected to the network. Even in cases where printers are standalone, they are usually used in conjunction with internet-adjacent devices such as engineering workstations used for design and removable media like USB flash drives and SD cards to move files from a computer to a printer. If AM assets are not secured, adversaries could modify design, files and operations causing a modified part to be printed with potentially disastrous consequences. AM printers could be attacked, which could render them useless and even cause harm to operators and the work area. Intellectual property theft is a significant concern as it could lead to the loss of a competitive edge and revenue that makes the AM environment a valuable target to adversaries. Existing AM and cybersecurity research is rather limited in scope and makes unrealistic assumptions. We asked ourselves, what could a team of skilled attackers do if they were targeting AM technology and processes? We explore realistic threat activity targeting AM resources and develop efficient and reliable methods to provide insight and visibility into AM workflows.
- Understand why securing AM technology is essential.
- Learn how AM resources can be compromised by a lack of cybersecurity.
- Identify common AM weaknesses and how they could be leveraged by adversaries.