In a recent LNS Research study on the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and Digital Transformation, the top two challenges facing the adoption of IIoT technology are finding the budget to invest (32% of respondents) and building the business case (30% of respondents).
Much of this has to do with where the industry is on the IIoT adoption curve. Although a full third of the marketplace has currently adopted or is in the planning stages of adopting IIoT, most of this investment is at the pilot stage or focused on the newest products. As the adoption of IIoT moves broadly, to include all legacy equipment and products produced, issues around scalability and security will move to the forefront.
Today, industrial companies are woefully behind when it comes to the adoption of cyber-security best practices on the shop floor. In fact, the only best practice a majority of companies has taken is isolating the plant from other business systems via a firewall. When we asked 269 mostly North American and European companies what industrial cyber security measures they had implemented, they reported adoption rates above 20 percent for these moves: Firewall between plant and business systems; access control to all plant computers; user authentication to HMI (human machine interface) devices, and all plant computers secured via corporate network access control.
Even scarier is the lack of planned future adoption. When we asked what planned adoption was one year out, virtually nothing changed: There was no substantive change in adoption rates. This result is incongruent with the overall IIoT adoption trend. Firms are going full-fledged toward IIoT adoption and incorporating sensor, to gateway, to Cloud architectures; but they are not making the cyber-security investments to ensure success.
Something will eventually give.
To help ensure cyber security on the plant floor can support IIoT deployments:
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