Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES) used to be the standard solution for bringing transparency to production processes and supporting them digitally. However, in times of increasing digitalization and complexity, these monolithic systems are reaching their natural limits. The path to greater flexibility, scalability and openness involves microservice-based architectures, such as those used by manufacturing operations management systems (MOM). But where is the security in all this openness and flexibility?

The manufacturing industry is undergoing a change that is being driven by digital transformation. In an increasingly networked world in which the control and optimization of production processes must be taken to a new level, new types of software solutions are needed. This is where modern MOM systems come in, representing an evolutionary development of MES.

The Manufacturing Operations Management solution iTAC.MOM.Suite sets standards in the manufacturing industry. It combines Manufacturing Execution System (MES) functions with real-time solutions for controlling, optimizing and forecasting production processes. The MOM has all the necessary functions for networking and automating processes. The open and service-oriented architecture forms the basis for seamless integration into existing production and system landscapes. The microservices approach makes it easy to add new functionalities as required.

MOM systems with SCADA and APS functionalities, such as those offered by iTAC, the parent company Dürr and the subsidiary DUALIS in combination, offer a number of advantages over traditional MES. The shift from monolithic systems to microservice-oriented architectures enables greater flexibility, scalability and agility in the manufacturing environment. Thanks to the modular structure, companies can select specific functions from the standard portfolio in a process-oriented manner and configure and – if necessary – customize them to perfectly integrate the processes and ensure maximum benefit. In addition, the software is split into so-called containers (containerization), which communicate with each other both synchronously via interfaces and asynchronously by exchanging messages via messaging services. Machines and systems are flexibly integrated in the green and brownfield on the basis of a generic API layer. Other MOM features, such as continuous replenishment in the area of material logistics, support flexible production and ensure a continuous flow of materials and data.

Another important aspect is the improved analysis and decision-making capability. MOM systems enable comprehensive collection and evaluation of production data in real time. Thanks to the flexible integration of machine and production data and the use of sensors, machine learning and artificial intelligence, production companies can gain new insights and make informed decisions in order to continuously improve the efficiency and quality of their processes and predictively control the production process.

In addition, MOM systems provide a holistic approach to the management of production resources, including machinery, materials and labor. By optimizing resource utilization and production planning, companies can optimize their costs and increase productivity at the same time.

The switch from MES to MOM brings significant benefits for production management and the supply chain. In times of increasing threats to companies from criminal hackers and institutions, future-proof MOM systems must now be developed, integrated and operated with a strong focus on IT security. By implementing security measures in all aspects, companies will have a secure, robust and trustworthy manufacturing IT landscape that meets the requirements of a modern factory.

Cybersecurity as priority – also for MOM systems

With increasing digitalization and networking, there are more gateways for cyber threats. Protecting sensitive production data and ensuring business continuity are therefore of crucial importance. To ensure the IT security of software, various aspects must be taken into account at different stages.  A holistic approach – from architecture and software design to implementation, testing and deployment – takes the respective security aspects into account at each stage and is supported by established, audited processes and tools.    

iTAC Software AG ensures that security aspects are integrated into the process right from the start. From development to implementation and operation of the iTAC.MOM.Suite, clear guidelines and state-of-the-art standards are followed. While there used to be known vulnerabilities in the development of software, these are now largely eliminated thanks to the support of tools that provide early warning of potential threat scenarios. 

iTAC secures the following levels:

  • Processes

For the development of the software, iTAC follows various guidelines that contain specifications to guarantee security and ensure that no threats enter the system when creating its own code or using third-party software components. 

  • Tools

In order to comply with these requirements, iTAC uses specific tools that “scan” the software and check which components have been used and whether they contain vulnerabilities. The tools are used continuously and corresponding protocols are created. They also actively provide information about new threat scenarios. The processes comply with the requirements of ISO/IEC 27001.

  • Product/Architecture

The iTAC.MOM.Suite includes the single sign-on (SSO) platform service, which is used with every installation. Only one login or logout is required in the system. This applies to all modules and external systems installed at the customer’s premises. In addition, a service centralizes the topics of authentication and authorization and includes functions for managing users, roles and authorizations. iTAC also implements security concepts for communication between machines and other areas within the software. 

  • Infrastructure

The MOM solution consists of various microservices. There are different zones for the individual “building blocks”, e.g. for business services, shop floor interfaces and customer-specific extensions. These zones form different areas based on security requirements and latencies and enable structured and defined processing.

  • Testing

A few weeks before a release, so-called penetration tests (pentests) are carried out to identify security vulnerabilities. Companies rely on such methods to prevent potential attacks and protect the integrity of their systems. By working with external service providers, these tests can be carried out independently and objectively in order to reliably identify potential vulnerabilities and initiate specific countermeasures.

  • Certification

Various certifications are also relevant for ensuring security. These can vary depending on the specific requirements and markets. iTAC refers here to the ISO/IEC 27001 certification, which defines IT security as a central task in the company and ensures that the availability, confidentiality and integrity of all data and information processed in the company are guaranteed.

Laws and guidelines will provide a new framework in future

There are also various efforts and measures on the part of legislators to strengthen the resilience of organizations to cyber attacks and minimize the impact of security incidents. The Cyber Resilience Act is currently gaining in importance in this context. 

The Cyber Resilience Act is a clear call to action that requires companies to strengthen their security measures and proactively address cyber threats. By implementing cybersecurity best practices, organizations can not only protect their data and operations, but also protect their investment and reputation by building trust with customers. Otherwise, security incidents create potential financial losses and reputational damage.

In addition, the Cyber Resilience Act offers companies the opportunity to differentiate themselves from competitors by demonstrating that they are actively addressing cyber security challenges and continuously improving their systems and processes. This can prove to be a decisive competitive advantage, especially in industries where security and trust play a prominent role.

The digital future must be secure. By investing in secure systems, companies can not only protect their own interests, but also help to strengthen the overall security of the digital industry.


The factory of the future is highly adaptable and versatile. Flexible systems are required in order to be able to react quickly to changes. A traditional monolithic software architecture is too limited. The components are partly interconnected and interdependent. This is precisely where a holistic manufacturing management system (MOM) comes in and, as an elementary part of the cyber security strategy, offers investment protection in order to lay the foundation for successful and future-proof manufacturing.