Enis Abo Alhasan

How to Adopt IoT Without the Fear of Being Compromised: Implement Your IoT Solution in a Secure Way

The industrial internet of things (IIoT) refers to the extension and use of the internet of things (IoT) in industrial sectors and applications. With a strong focus on machine-to-machine (M2M) communication, big data, and machine learning, the IIoT enables industries and enterprises to have better efficiency and reliability in their operations. The IIoT encompasses industrial applications, including robotics, medical devices, and software-defined production processes.

According to the latest research, the total number of connected IoT devices will reach 75 billion by 2025, with almost 30% installed in industrial environments. Despite the technical challenges, many companies have embraced Industrial IoT (IIoT) solutions to enhance their operations. But, as they quickly discovered, one of the main concerns with this approach is that these new technologies significantly increase the industrial environment’s exposure to cyberattacks and security challenges, especially with a reported 57% of IoT devices vulnerable to medium or high-risk attacks.

A few of the many benefits of IIoT include increasing equipment efficiency by giving manufacturers the ability to automate. Furthermore, by digitizing the manufacturing process, IIoT solutions can reduce errors. This digitization helps pave the way to acquire PM (predictive maintenance) into manufacturing equipment. Finally, all the mentioned benefits of IIoT – predictive maintenance, fewer errors, and maximized efficiencies – will boost a manufacturer’s profits.

While there are many benefits that the industrial IoT world brings, this technological jump has also created many security concerns that need to be addressed when it comes to critical connected devices. This increased interconnectivity of IIoT represents more vulnerabilities if left unprotected. As more devices and sensors come online, they create more Local Area Networks (LAN), data stores, ports, and endpoints. Securing these four components can lead to better and more secure processes. For example, prioritizing security within the LAN will guarantee that all your devices are protected from unauthorized access, which helps prevent cyberattacks.

Therefore, if the security of the IIoT environment is poorly implemented, it can have a drastic impact on the cybersecurity of an entire organization. For instance, in many cases, IIoT products are shipped with poor security – and it’s common for security researchers to uncover vulnerabilities in devices that have vast numbers of users across the globe. The potential effect of an IIoT cyberattack isn’t just theoretical, as hackers have already deployed malware to industrial networks by exploiting internet-connected sensors and gaining access to cyber-physical networks.

Among the approaches towards improving industrial IoT security are adopting risk and threat management processes, device authentication, and Public Key Infrastructure. The authentication process prevents impersonation and requires users to confirm their identities before being allowed access to systems and resources. This offers a higher level of confidentiality that prevents the data from being disclosed to unauthorized individuals, groups, processes, or devices, and encrypts the data with the most secure non-Repudiation protocols. These protocols provide the data sender with proof of delivery and the recipient is provided with proof of the sender’s identity.

At Siraj Technologies, we understand the risks accompanying the use of IIoT and the importance of its security. That’s why our IIoT solutions adopt risk and threat management processes and enforce endpoint device security methodologies. We specialize in automating device connectivity to the cloud and allowing seamless onboarding of edge devices. When connecting devices to the cloud we ensure the use of two-way encryption that encrypts and decrypts the data, guaranteeing both protecting the identity of the sender and the security of the data itself. This data, then, is stored in the cloud and secured by using protocols and practices that protect cloud platforms. By using this approach, we ensure that all the data going to the cloud is untouched and unchanged. This solution allows the implementation of remote access that helps manufacturing companies to use their IIoT equipment without security concerns.

The Author is Business Development Manager at Siraj Technologies

About the Author
I am a BA graduate in technology marketing from Sapir college, and an MHA undergraduate in health systems administration at Ben Gurion University. I work as business development manager at Siraj technologies and provide a broad range of businesses with knowledge regarding the implementation of Industry 4.0 technologies and their benefit to optimize business processes.
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