Industrial Internet Emerging Security Challenges

The Industrial Internet concept has evolved over the last decade to encompass interconnected systems that combine hardware, software and networking capabilities to sense and control the physical world. These industrial control systems contain embedded sensors, processors and actuators that provide the capability to serve specific operational purposes and transforming how businesses operate.

With the adoption from various industries and acceleration of various deployments just in the last few years, the results are so far promising as performance is better, deployment is faster and operational tasks that support the physical process are now increasingly smarter. According to analyst Gartner, there will be 26 billion IoT and M2M devices by 2020, which is an indication of the level of scale and complexity associated with industrial internet.

While all these key benefits and exciting opportunities are sound for revolutionary game changer, there has been one thing missing from many of the IIoT discussions to date – security. The security aspects of IIoT are unique given the mission critical nature of industrial environments, namely safety and reliability.

So far we have already witnessed hacking PoC against IoT devices deploying botnets, malware and ransomware type of attacks. In fact, industrial Internet is not an exception and it is just matter of time that IIoT/M2M will be hit by targeted attacks that could be devastating for hazard zones and could results in asset damage, possible fatalities and injuries.

To help provide guidance and a path forward to deliver and deploy secure and reliable IoT devices, the first thing you should be thinking about understanding OT security requirements. At a high level, the industrial Internet security strategy is all about covering the whole product ecosystems including remote access, cloud technologies and most importantly secure by design concept in addition to product security (i.e. embedded security, firmware etc).

As IIoT continues to evolve and shape the OT landscape, it will also influence the very nature of industrial security and raise the bar for OT security which result in more secure industrial facilities as asset owners and manufacturers are now increasingly aware of cyber risks and cost implications of unsecure OT environments.

Learn more about the new era of IIoT threats and how Applied Risk is helping customers toward a safe and reliable industrial Internet.