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Data Security Prevents IIoT from Developing at Full Potential

Luana PASCU

August 17, 2016

Data Security Prevents IIoT from Developing at Full Potential

While companies try to develop complex Industrial Internet of Things strategies, some business executives only consider the financial aspects and immediate benefits of this technology, rather than the long-term business value. That”s when they come up with either the worst devices or the least secured.

Such an approach will not help them reach their potential in terms of IoT innovation in the industrial sector, so their focus should shift to better understanding how to safeguard industrial infrastructure and how to prevent employees from being a weak link in their security strategy.

Although 81 percent of organizations are confident about IIoT and feel it”s a strategic component of their success strategy for the future, as little as 25 percent have a clear outline of the steps to implement, Genpact Research Institute found.

Some IIoT applications such as “AMR/AMI for utility metering, wireless mesh networks, structural sensors, machine to machine (M2M) and system control and data acquisition (SCADA), data loggers, measurement while drilling, oceanographic measurements, and emergency/safety equipment” are sophisticated smart machines always connected to the cloud.

The lack of skills among employees, privacy and data security are big threats that expose industrial infrastructures to an increased number of cyberattacks, say 50 percent of respondents. IIoT has lots of potential, but its progress is hindered by the lack of overall security and reliability, which allows criminals to exploit vulnerabilities and cause infrastructure failure.

Some 45 percent of business leaders expect an attack on their IIoT infrastructure in the following year, and more than half “do not have a response plan to prevent losses from the threat,” Genpact researchers found.

Most debates have so far focused on external sources of attacks such as cybercrime, sabotage or terrorism when speaking about industrial infrastructures. But, as humans are prone to error, a significant number of breaches are a result of internal attacks due to careless employees. To overcome these progress traps and speed up integration, the industry should raise awareness on risks and threats and come up with built-in security features for devices, networks and sensors.

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