Industrial IoT (IIoT) is changing the way manufacturing and industrial processes operate by enabling connectivity and communication between devices. However, IIoT is not immune from the drawbacks of unique security risks. Let's take a look at the biggest risks in Industrial IoT, and how IIoT’s unique vulnerabilities can be addressed.

IIoT Security Risks

System-wide Security Breaches

Many industrial IoT devices operate by tapping into existing networks, such as a plant-wide Wi-Fi network. In doing so, it creates more avenues for security breaches from both deliberate attacks by hackers and more passive attacks like malware. These attacks affect the IIoT devices being used as an entryway and potentially anything contained within the larger network.

Data Transmission Disruption

Much of the convenience of IIoT lies within the ability to transmit data without the need for direct human intervention, saving operators both time and money. However, this advantage can also be a security risk if not properly addressed. Data transmission between IIoT devices can be disrupted, either corrupting or compromising the data. The more components in an IIoT system, the higher the risk of breaches in data security.

Lack of System Upgrades

IIoT systems require periodic upgrades to maintain both their functionality and their ability to withstand security threats. It’s easy to let these upgrades fall to the wayside, postponing them until a later date only to forget them entirely. As a result, the system not only runs the risk of being rendered nonfunctional but of falling victim to security breaches.


 

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Addressing the Security Challenges Presented by IIoT

None of these risks undercut the promise of IIoT. Industrial IoT devices save companies both time and money, enabling smooth, streamlined operations within plants. It is not necessary to avoid these solutions due to their inherent security risks, but rather, it is necessary to maintain awareness and take the appropriate measures to rectify vulnerabilities.

A good first step is to ensure strong password and firewall protections to any linked networks or devices. This makes it more difficult to infiltrate the network and disrupt data flow. Additionally, it’s important to stay up-to-date on upgrades, as providers often release patches as new security vulnerabilities are revealed. Finally, if possible for your needs, explore potential solutions that do not need access to a pre-existing network, effectively limiting the doors that can be breached.

Implement a Secure IIoT Solution with Link Labs

Link Labs offers industrial asset tracking solutions that aim to provide a sense of security for our customers. We do this by operating on an independent network, providing a complete solution, and applying our industry experience

An Independent Network

Our system does not require the use of company Wi-fi or any other pre-existing network. In doing so, we ensure that data transfer occurs between only our connected devices, reducing chances of a breach. This network isolation also serves to reduce backdoor access to pre-existing networks, meaning that integrating our solution will not compromise the security of other networks.

A Complete System

Link Labs provides a solution that, while capable of integration, does not require the usage of third party components. This reduces concern about poor compatibility between integrated components, which in some cases can make systems more susceptible to security breaches. With a complete solution, this risk is not one you will have to take.

A Mature Solution

Our solution is backed by years of industry experience, and it has been evolving alongside our company. Newer systems are more susceptible to security breaches, as they have not been around long enough to recognize and address their vulnerabilities. Link Labs provides a responsive, well-matured solution protected by proven security measures informed by our experience and understanding of the industry.

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Beyond providing increased security, our solution is the most sustainable due to increased battery life and reduction of harmful emissions. Book a demo today to learn more about what a safe solution might look like for you, or contact us to learn more about addressing security concerns within IIoT.

Jennifer Halstead

Written by Jennifer Halstead

Jennifer Halstead, MBA, CPA brings more than 20 years financial industry experience to Link Labs. She began her career in finance within the pharmaceutical industry and has continued in both public accounting and private companies. She passed the CPA exam with the 3rd highest score in the state and completed her MBA with an accounting concentration (summa cum laude). Jennifer has worked with several software companies and has led multiple venture financing, merger and acquisitions deals. She has helped companies expand internationally and has managed the finance department of a startup to 33 consecutive quarters of growth prior to acquisition. After the acquisition, she served as the Controller of Dell Software Group’s Data Protection Division where she managed a portfolio of multiple hardware and software products to scale and achieve over triple-digit growth worldwide in 18 months. Jennifer brings a depth of finance experience to the Link Labs team.

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