Challenges and Solutions for IIoT Security
The exponential growth of IIoT is on track with recent predictions. And as we head toward a world with over 75 billion connected devices by 2025, almost a third will be utilized in industrial applications within manufacturing. But as the opportunities within this market- particularly in cloud-based, third-party service providers – continue to expand, one issue stands out less as a barrier to growth than it is a red flag not to be ignored. That red flag is the ever-present requirement of security.
Sources of Industrial IoT Security Concerns
As hackers become more sophisticated in the use of the same data tools and AI technology as those building out IoT systems, the risk of a data breach grows. Within a factory and its connected systems, there are a number of locations where a breach can occur:
- Insecure Web Interfaces – The location where users interface with IoT devices suffers from issues such as inadequate default passwords, lockout and session management issues and credential exposure within the network.
- Insecure Network Services – This is where hackers may be able to gain access to the network itself as through open ports, buffer overflows and Denial-of Service attacks.
- Weak Encryption – Weak encryption, or in some cases no encryption, can allow intruders the ability to gather data during exchange between devices.
- Insecure Mobile Interfaces – As many companies offer field service as an extension of their manufacturing operation for repair and maintenance, mobile interfaces suffer from the same issue of encryption and authentication.
IIoT Security Solutions
The security challenges facing Industrial IoT service providers and their client companies are growing. Many do not emphasize the security side of the equation strongly, but by not doing so, opportunity is missed. Many executives have indicated that they would be willing to pay more for IoT devices and services if security solutions were part of the package. But as the industry continues to grow, new services including security as part of the platform, or strong partnerships with third-party security providers, will gain stronger footing in the market.
This article was written by Jacob Lauzier, the Co-Founder and CTO of MachineMetrics.