The Opportunities and Risks of Industrial IoT

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The evolution of the industrial internet of things (IIoT) has helped companies with better intelligence, more informed decision-making, enhanced productivity, better asset management, and so much more. 

Industrial IoT is known as a network of connected industrial devices and sensors, gleaning data, making analysis, and potentially facilitating improvements in productivity and efficiency. IoT is mainly used for consumer usage and designed for industrial purposes such as manufacturing, supply chain monitoring, and management.

Industrial IoT helps with intelligence and availability of connected devices, a small breach in an IIoT environment could result in risks, which includes information leakage, product compromise and damage to industrial controls, and others.

Risks Associated with Industrial IoT

Data Breaches

IIoT gathers and assesses data to deliver new, meaningful processed data and optimize business processes via a network of connected industrial devices. If these are applied correctly, it can give smarter, more efficient operating environments for manufacturing plants, utility providers, and power stations, among others. With a growing possibility of attack mainly due to legacy systems, a data breach concern is the biggest challenge for many industrial IoT devices. 

Device Theft

Theft of physical endpoint devices is one of the major risks because they store confidential information that may lead to concern if that information falls into the wrong hands. These devices can store any information about business clients or partners, including their passwords or internal systems. Deployment of cyber-proof IoT devices can prevent such risks by storing data on cloud-based infrastructure or networks instead of storing it on the endpoint devices.

Insecure Protocols 

To avoid any device from getting hacked, the use of multi-factor authentication is highly put forward. In this authentication process, a computer user gives two or more verification factors to gain access to the system. As industrial devices often communicate through proprieties like Modbus or Ethernet they rarely employ authentication, authorization, or encryption methodologies.

Lack of Endpoint Visibility

Hackers have many ways to comprise a user device and put a company or an individual at risk. Those hackings highly vulnerable, particularly in remote working. A report shows that as of June 2020, over 30 percent of employee accounts have been compromised worldwide, with 10 percent of them failing to change their password afterward. In the industrial environment, the situation is very different and the numbers are huge.

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