Digital Twins and Cyber Security – solution or challenge?


Digital twin technology today is diverse and emerging and its full potential is not yet widely understood. The concept of a digital twin allows for the analysis, design, optimisation and evolution of systems to take place fully digital, or in conjunction with a cyber-physical system to improve speed, accuracy and efficiency when compared to traditional engineering approaches. Digital twins continue to be a technology that enables new paradigms, such as Industry 4.0 and Factories of the Future as well as generating improved efficiencies within existing systems. The development of digital twin technology in traditional industries such as manufacturing, construction, the automotive industry, agriculture and transportation has highlighted its potential, but often insufficiently explored the risks associated with their integration. In this paper we explore risks relating to the cyber-security of systems employing digital twin technology and also consider the opportunities for digital twins themselves to mitigate cyber-security risks and become an integral part of a security in-depth defence.





Holmes, D., Papathanasaki, M., Maglaras, L., Amine Ferrag, M., Nepal, S. and Janicke, H. (2021) Digital Twins and Cyber Security – solution or challenge? 6th IEEE South-East Europe Design Automation, Computer Engineering, Computer Networks and Social Media Conference (SEEDA-CECNSM 2021), 24-26 September 2021, Preveza, Greece


Research Institute

Cyber Technology Institute (CTI)