The IIoT (industrial Internet of Things) is a rapidly growing space, and, as with all rapidly growing spaces in the technology realm, growing pains include figuring out how to secure devices and systems against increasingly sophisticated cyberattacks. MarketsandMarkets estimates the IIoT market will grow from just over 77 billion in 2020 to 110.6 billion by 2025, thanks to factors like continued adoption in manufacturing and technological advancements in semiconductors. The firm’s latest data on the IoT security market, which encompasses all IoT devices, suggests it will reach 36.6 billion by 2025, up from 12.5 billion this year. The two markets are growing in parallel because protecting assets must be a priority of IIoT companies in sectors like manufacturing, transportation, chemical, food, energy, and beyond.

In July, the Lloyd’s Register Foundation launched a report reviewing IIoT security and highlights the link between the increasing reliance on the IoT and the constant threat of cyberattacks to critical infrastructure. As part of its report, the foundation put forth best practices for IIoT technology users. For instance, Lloyd’s Register Foundation suggests organizations always consider possible connectivity, not just currently used connectivity when designing security architectures. Similarly, organizations should look ahead by considering how security controls may fail as device use increases or changes. Ideally, organizations should consider continuously assessing its vulnerabilities as opposed to periodically assessing them, and they should pursue realtime visibility of supply chains to minimize risk throughout their chains.

To address the need for IIoT security in sectors like distributed energy, the NIST (Natl. Institute of Standards and Technology) has laid out some of the specialized cybersecurity capabilities collaborating vendors should provide for IIoT solutions. The NIST’s suggestions include analysis and visualization capabilities deployed to the distribution’s utility operations center; authentication and access control capabilities to make sure only known and authorized systems and devices can exchange information; behavioral monitoring capabilities that learn what’s “normal” and then report anomalies; a command register capability that keeps an audit trail of information exchanges and actions; data integrity capabilities that detect any modifications between sender and receiver; and malware detection capabilities that continuously look for signs of compromise.

Other best practices for companies leveraging the IIoT include investing in staff training on cybersecurity and making sure they partner with vendors that can help them succeed both now and in the future. Industrial cybersecurity platform provider Dragos is one company working to protect industrial infrastructure through its cybersecurity platform and services. The company recently announced a partnership and integration with Fortinet to release the Dragos Platform with FortiSIEM to provide improved visibility and detection across the entire IT/OT network. The goal is to simplify the response workflow for companies leveraging the IIoT in manufacturing, oil and gas, transportation, chemical, electric, and building automation systems.

Dragos also offers educational webinars on topics like building a cybersecurity workforce. An upcoming webinar will focus on Effectively Investing in Cybersecurity During your Digital Transformation. To join, visit https://bit.ly/2EsTn7v

Want to tweet about this article? Use hashtags #IoT #sustainability #AI #5G #cloud #edge #digitaltransformation #machinelearning #infrastructure #cybersecurity #IIoT #industrial #bestpractices