paint-brush
Identifying and Resolving Security Issues in Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT)by@michealchukwube
148 reads

Identifying and Resolving Security Issues in Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT)

by Micheal ChukwubeJanuary 23rd, 2023
Read on Terminal Reader
Read this story w/o Javascript
tldt arrow

Too Long; Didn't Read

The importance of identifying and resolving weaknesses in IIoT security cannot be overstated. Industrial systems and sensitive data that are connected to the internet are vulnerable to cyber attacks, which can cause serious harm to the organization, its customers, and the general public. By identifying and resolving weaknesses in IIoT security, organizations can protect their industrial systems and sensitive data from cyber threats and ensure the continuity of their operations.
featured image - Identifying and Resolving Security Issues in Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT)
Micheal Chukwube HackerNoon profile picture


The Internet of Things (IoT) has revolutionized the way we live and work, connecting a wide range of devices and systems to the internet. The adoption of Internet of Things technology has seen significant growth and is expected to continue to rise.


One of the most significant areas of IoT development has been in the industrial sector, which is known as the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT).


The size of the IIoT market, which was estimated to be worth $115 billion in 2016, is expected to grow rapidly over the next few years, with a projected compound annual growth rate of 7.5% between 2017 and 2023, reaching an estimated value of $197 billion by the year 2023.


IIoT has the potential to greatly improve efficiency and productivity in various industries, by enabling real-time monitoring and control of industrial processes, and the collection and analysis of large amounts of data.


However, as with any connected system, IIoT also poses significant security risks.


One of the biggest challenges with IIoT security is the sheer number and variety of devices that are connected. Industrial systems often use specialized, proprietary equipment that may not have the same level of security features as consumer devices.


Many industrial systems are designed to be highly resilient and long-lasting, meaning that they may not be regularly updated or replaced, leaving them vulnerable to known security threats.



Common Weaknesses in IIoT Security


In order to mitigate the risks of IIoT system security breaches, it is important to understand the common weaknesses that exist in IIoT security.


  • One of the most common weaknesses in IIoT security is the lack of security measures in place on the devices. Many IIoT devices are not designed with security in mind and are often easy to hack. This can allow attackers to gain control over the device and use it to gain access to the wider network. In addition, many IIoT devices do not have built-in security features, such as encryption or authentication, making them vulnerable to attacks.


​​A report on Business Standard states that 85% of organizations have been impacted by ransomware in the past year, an increase from 76%.


  • Another common weakness in IIoT security is the lack of security updates and patches for devices. Many IIoT devices are not designed to receive updates, and as a result, vulnerabilities that are discovered may never be patched. This can leave devices open to attacks for prolonged periods of time, making them a prime target for hackers.


  • Finally, security training for employees: Many employees may not be aware of the risks associated with IIoT systems, or may not understand how to secure them. This can lead to employees making mistakes that can open up the network to attacks.


By understanding these common weaknesses, organizations can take steps to secure their IIoT systems and protect against potential attacks.



Identifying Weaknesses in IIoT Security


  • One of the most effective methods for identifying weaknesses in IIoT security is vulnerability scanning. It involves using automated tools to scan the network for vulnerabilities and identify potential weaknesses in the system. These tools can identify unpatched software, open ports, and other potential vulnerabilities.


  • Penetration testing: This involves simulating a real-world attack on the system to identify vulnerabilities and weaknesses. This can include attempting to gain unauthorized access to the network or devices, or attempting to intercept sensitive data.


  • Risk assessments is another key method for identifying weaknesses in IIoT security. Risk assessments involve evaluating the potential risks to the system and identifying potential vulnerabilities. This can include identifying potential threats, such as hacking or malware, and evaluating the likelihood and impact of these threats.


  • Finally, network monitoring is a valuable method for identifying weaknesses in IIoT security. This involves monitoring the network and devices for suspicious activity and identifying potential vulnerabilities. This can include identifying unusual traffic patterns, unauthorized access attempts, or other potential indicators of a security breach. Identifying and addressing weaknesses in IIoT security is a critical challenge for organizations.


By implementing these methods, organizations can effectively protect their IIoT systems from potential security threats.



Resolving Weaknesses in IIoT Security


Organizations should prioritize standardization in their IIoT systems by adhering to industry guidelines and standards for securing devices and systems.


Furthermore, it is essential to ensure that all devices and systems are built with security as a top priority and are regularly updated with the latest security patches.


To effectively manage their IIoT devices and systems, organizations should implement a centralized management system that utilizes network monitoring tools and software.


This will enable them to monitor all connected devices and systems in real-time, and quickly detect and respond to potential security threats. In addition, implementing segmentation and isolation techniques can help to limit the impact of any security breaches.


To ensure that employees are equipped with the knowledge and skills to secure IIoT devices and systems, organizations should invest in educating and training their workforce.


This can be done through regular training sessions, workshops, and security awareness programs that cover the importance of IIoT security and best practices for securing devices and systems, including the risks and best practices associated with IIoT security.


Implementing these measures will enhance the protection of IIoT systems and networks against potential security breaches.


Conclusion


The importance of identifying and resolving weaknesses in IIoT security cannot be overstated. Industrial systems and sensitive data that are connected to the internet are vulnerable to cyber attacks, which can cause serious harm to the organization, its customers, and the general public.


By identifying and resolving weaknesses in IIoT security, organizations can protect their industrial systems and sensitive data from cyber threats and ensure the continuity of their operations.


Therefore, organizations should make sure to implement robust security measures to protect their industrial systems and sensitive data, and regularly conduct security assessments to identify and resolve any weaknesses. Failure to do so could result in costly breaches and damage to an organization's reputation.