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It’s a fact: most people are worried about data breaches. A Cisco Value/Trust Paradox report, based on a survey of 3,000 consumers, revealed that while 42 percent of respondents appreciate the values of the Internet of Things (IoT) data, only 9 percent consider their data as secured. 

Why do security threats keep happening?

Industrial environments are reaching a unique time in their history where the evolution of information and automation is changing all business processes. This means a couple of things. It’s easier for hackers to steal data and make tools, and in an era of mass targeted attacks, they are only going to get worse.

Protecting Your Business and Your Customers

What can you do to protect your customers? First, some background:  

Industries are in the midst of new data paradigms where machines and people generate and receive more and more real-time information, which is leveraged for decision making.  In fact, the adoption of IIoT networks impacts so many organizations that it’s a real challenge to estimate all of them but they range from:

  • Manufacturing plants where robotics and human interactions have shifted from the historical repetitive operations to more localized and complex processes
  • Complex power grid systems architecture where generation, control, and distribution are impacted by new grid schemes, such as renewable energies and synchrophasor applications in transmission systems
  • Transportation developing intelligent vehicles and intelligent infrastructures’ systems to automate and optimize traffic flow
  • Cities controlling and optimizing their environmental conditions and defense networkcentric warfare, and remote health services and so on

Across these and many other industries, IIoT networks extend outside traditional IT environments, expanding the concept of Extended Enterprise Network” architecture. Within extended enterprise IoT networks, engineers have to cope with a rapid increase of smart objects getting connected, growing data exchanges, the convergence between Information Technology (IT) and Operational Technology (OT) applications and services, and breaking conventional silos and field network locations generally considered unprotected.

IIoT Security is Mission Critical

Technologies, products, and solutions are constantly evolving, driving innovation but also creating an unintended opportunity for new security flaws. External (or even internal) attackers are always looking for ways to leverage any technical or non-technical methods of attacks. Meltdown and Spectre” on CPU chipsets or KRACK” on Wi-Fi WPA2 security are just two highly visible examples.

A survey of security professionals revealed that 96 percent said they expect an increase in IoT breaches this year. And, as reported by Cisco Talos, vulnerabilities are monthly identified across Industrial Control Systems solution—so don’t think you or your customers are immune. 

Yet, despite these challenges, people overall support the benefits of IoT data. That’s why bringing all devices, operations, and processes under a trustworthy umbrella that reinforces security and safety have never been more important.

Recognized Leader in IoT Security

Cisco, as a leader in IoT security, can quickly react via well-defined processes to deliver effective, efficient security fixes for its customers. We are well-positioned to observe the challenges of industrial networks as deployed by its customers. An article in Forbes last year called out Cisco for its work in IoT network security, encryption and security analytics.

As a New Year’s resolution, the Cisco IIoT Networking team decided to publish monthly blog articles discussing cybersecurity, the fundamentals of product implementation and feature set in Security in Utility and Security in Manufacturing to name a few. We will also track the evolution of challenges and solutions in multi-dimensional, multi-directional IoT networks in upcoming blogs.

Let us know the problems your organization is facing. Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below.

<< This article was originally published on blog here. >>