The millions of Internet-connected sensors and other devices that make up the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) ecosystem enable unprecedented data collection and greater efficiency for companies. However, they also create an expanded attack surface that gives rise to new threats and increases the chances of exposure online.
IIoT environments are full of devices that have vulnerabilities because they don’t have the computing power for built-in security and are also often poorly configured and managed. They are vulnerable because they were not designed for security, but rather for low cost and simple functionality. An international study estimated that 57% of IoT devices are vulnerable to attacks of medium or high severity.
With so many poorly protected devices in operation, Industrial IoT exposes manufacturing companies to high levels of cyber risk. In addition, IoT has the unique ability to affect both virtual and physical systems: when an attacker compromises an IoT device, there is only a small jump to another more valuable digital “prey”” comments Mariano Fernández, BDM Regional Communications and IoT at BGH Tech Partner, a company specialized in securing these ecosystems.
Taking into account the many advantages of incorporating IoT to increase productivity and increase revenue in companies, to mention just a few benefits, it is important to implement this type of technology but considering the issue of information security. That being said, research from Cisco Systems anticipated the IoT security market to grow $83 billion between 2021 and 2025, progressing at a compound annual growth rate of more than 30% over that period.
“One recommendation is to apply security by design in IoT to overcome the fact that devices most likely lack security measures. Specifically, the suggestion is to define a layered defense strategy for hardware, applications, communication layers, and storage that adjusts to the security requirements of each organization,” they comment from BGH Tech Partner.
This strategy should include end-to-end encryption for all communications between IoT devices, machines, and back-end systems, protection for data at rest, and a strong authentication and identity management scheme for all interactions with IoT devices and data.
For example, at the device layer, you have to make sure that tangible features, along with technological properties (such as firmware , operating systems, and the applications that run it) remain secure. Some IoT devices are small and have limited memory and resources for processing information and supporting advanced security features. In such cases, companies can consider cloud-based IoT security solutions.
To protect the communications layer underlying an IoT solution, companies can run solutions that are both infrastructure-centric and data-centric.
Security is a critical element that must be built into every component of the IoT application. And it must be thought of in an evolutionary way, accompanying the growing development of these environments” they conclude from BGH Tech Partner.
Rachel Maga is a technology journalist currently working at Globe Live Media agency. She has been in the Technology Journalism field for over five years now. Her life’s biggest milestone is the inside tour of Tesla Industries, which was gifted to her by the legend Elon Musk himself.