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Blog Post: Security Challenges of IIoT and Industry 4.0

The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and Industry 4.0 enable a higher degree of automation, improve productivity and efficiency, and bring economic benefits. But with the expansion of the IIoT, new security concerns arise. To avoid the risk of opening up to cyber attacks, industries and businesses adopting IIoT must increase the level of protection.

What is IIoT

Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) refers to the interconnected networked sensors, instruments and devices connected to industrial computer applications. Connectivity enables data collection, exchange and analysis as well as a higher degree of automation by using cloud computing to refine and optimize process controls.

IoT vs IIoT

What is the difference between IoT and IIoT? Both have the same primary character of availability, smart and connected devices. The only difference is the use and the users. While IoT is commonly used by consumers, IIoT is used for industrial purposes such as manufacturing, supply chain monitoring, and management systems.

IIoT and the fourth industrial revolution 4.0

The Fourth Industrial Revolution (or Industry 4.0) is the continuous automation of traditional manufacturing and industrial practices using modern smart technology. Large-scale machine-to-machine communication (M2M) and the Internet of Things (IoT) are integrated for increased automation, improved communication and self-monitoring, as well as the production of intelligent machines capable of analyzing and diagnosing problems without resorting to humans. intervention. Without the connectivity and data provided by the IIoT, Industry 4.0 would not exist, let alone the efficiency.

What are the benefits of IIoT?

IIoT has many advantages. Here are the three most important benefits:

  1. Increased productivity and efficiency – This new type of connectivity enables the collection, exchange and analysis of data, potentially improving productivity and efficiency.

  2. Improved Quality – By reducing manual processes and inputs, manufacturers can reduce the most important risk associated with manual labor – human error.

  3. Lower Costs – IIoT solutions provide tools to reduce costs and generate more revenue. Information based on data on operations, production, marketing, sales, etc. can steer business operations in a more profitable direction.

Security Considerations When Adopting IIoT

As the IIoT grows, new security issues arise. Every new device or component that connects to the IIoT is a potential liability. It can be difficult to maintain security in the face of increased connectivity.

Failure to invest in cybersecurity can undermine the benefits of IIoT and Industry 4.0!

Unsecured IIoT systems can have significant adverse consequences, such as operational disruption and monetary loss.

How you should tackle security challenges with IIoT

Many of the security issues associated with the IIoT stem from a lack of basic security measures in place. Security vulnerabilities such as exposed ports, inadequate authentication practices, and outdated applications all contribute to the emergence of risks.

To remedy this, solutions capable of separating and controlling data flows are needed. Deploying segmentation with high assurance solutions preserves the physical separation between sensitive network systems while allowing completely secure communication. The result is high level protection.
With that in place, logging security data is the next priority. By monitoring connections, failed connection attempts, transactions, USB usage, etc., effective preventive measures can be defined and damage control can be taken without delay.

In short, the following solutions are necessary:

  • Physically separate IT and OT using zoning

  • Use data diodes at the border of the area for outgoing OT data streams

  • Apply the information authorization list within the zone boundary

Advenica has extensive experience with solutions that can physically isolate networks while exchanging information securely. Our solutions enable accelerated digitization without compromising the accessibility and integrity of OT systems.

Learn more about secure IT / OT integration by reading the description of our solution “Secure IT / OT integration”.

For more advice on how to tackle security challenges with the IIoT, please Contact us!

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