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Friday, September 11, 2015

How IoT Drives Demand for Industrial Cybersecurity

While manufacturing and industrial companies vary in their need for traditional security measures, the proliferation of communication networks and the growing use of off-the-shelf software has thrust cyber security concerns into the spotlight.

Safety and security issues associated with the high levels of online connectivity and cloud integration are surfacing as the concept of the Internet of Things (IoT) takes shape across more industries.

Furthermore, the frequency of sophisticated and targeted advanced persistent threats has given further weight to the online communication safety requirement across both process and discrete industries.

According to the latest market study by Frost & Sullivan, the global cybersecurity market for control systems is expected to grow at a rate between 20 to 25 percent every year until 2021.

North America and Europe are forecast to remain at the forefront of creating awareness and initiating security technology advancements that specifically address attacks from advanced persistent threats.

"Enterprises currently employ a broad, layered approach towards protecting cyber assets while industry organizations work on establishing suitable standards," said Sonia Francisco, senior research analyst at Frost & Sullivan.

Partnerships among government, industry and research institutes will be vital in forming robust, industry-based standards that will speed up the development of comprehensive online security management solutions.

As the IoT concept transforms plant architecture, defense-by-default security strategies will give way to defense-by-design solutions. F&S believes that built-in security solutions that can sense, adapt, modify and respond to cyber threats -- based on various ecosystem parameters -- will gain traction.

Creating application-specific solutions will also be crucial as information technology (IT) solutions continue to stream into the operational technology (OT) space.

Forward-looking vendors in both the IT and the OT ecosystems must collaborate to deploy end-to-end cyber security solutions for manufacturing and industrial systems that are deemed to be vulnerable.

"Such extensive integration will require a new age workforce with both IT and OT expertise," noted Francisco. "Cybersecurity service providers can provide training and change management solutions that will bridge the knowledge gap."

As a majority of heavy industries upgrade their infrastructure to 'smart' systems and processes, industrial cybersecurity strategies will soon make the inevitable transition from a reactive operating model to a proactive design philosophy.