Securing the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) has become a vital business strategy for any industry utilising operational technology. Following the recent hack of Ukraine’s power grid, it is clear that industrial cyber-attacks are on the rise. The IIoT is very much at the core of mission-critical systems and the applications that operate within industrial environments. Considering most IIoT products use the same embedded technologies and protocols, the effect in the case of these technologies being compromised could be significant, leading to major security and safety incidents.
With the increasing utilisation of IIoT and Big Data within industrial facilities, it is safe to assume that this will lead to a substantial growth in the number of interconnected industrial control devices. In order to combat the risks this presents, a solid understanding of both business processes and the complexity of these environments is needed in order to ensure security. A proliferation of cybersecurity incidents is anticipated against ICS and SCADA systems, therefore investing in cybersecurity measures should not be seen as a burden, but as an enabler that will reduce the risk of downtime within a manufacturing plant, and prevent production loss or process upset. Continuous security assessments must be undertaken industry wide, and control systems staff must be provided with the security training and tools necessary to effectively protect critical environments against attack.
Going forward, IIoT security must be addressed at an early stage and not developed as a reaction to market trends. The proliferation of industrial cyber-attacks is inevitable; awareness, active monitoring and preparation will be crucial to mitigate the pending risks. Is your business prioritising the security of industrial assets?