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IIoT brings business opportunities and security concerns

IoT is now a part of many industrial sectors to help optimize operations and support digital workflows. But companies must be aware of security issues IIoT can pose.

The wide acceptance of automation, availability of Wi-Fi and internet connections, technological advancements in products and services, and increasing options for electronic systems have helped IoT adoption.

IoT offerings can digitize every business by integrating its existing physical products, thus making operations more software-based. This digital transformation helps in business growth with improved productivity and efficiency -- and making IoT a tool for businesses.

The industrial sector is widely accepting IoT and taking a step ahead to connect the customer base, which can reinvent business models and give these companies a new direction. According to Allied Market Research, the global industrial internet of things (IIoT) market is anticipated to grow at a significant compound annual growth rate from 2017 to 2023.

Opportunities for IIoT

IoT integration aims at device interconnectivity for automatic data collection and data transfer to support digital transformation and provide operational feedback. IoT can boost industrial growth with omnichannel marketing and improve customer experience.

Industries focus on data collection and processing, reduction of operational costs and other customized offerings with IoT, which drives the IIoT market in several ways. The medical sector, agriculture and horticulture, manufacturing, transportation and finance have embraced IIoT offerings and technologies to help with predictive maintenance and machine use logistics, as well as to gather operational insights.

IIoT growth brings security concerns

The integration of mechanical machinery, electronic equipment and computer technology has helped monitor industries and improved their operational performance. With the growing demand for IIoT, the edge data demands are also increasing; cloud computing assists with data storage and can help protect data.

However, the IoT hardware and network infrastructure possess consequent threats. It is a rising concern for organizations that provide connected devices in the market. Endpoint IoT hardware devices, such as sensors and edge devices, have more physical accessibility as compared to the inbuilt computer equipment, which increases the chance of damage or displacement.

With factory default login credentials, the embedded IIoT devices have an insecure interface as there is no option for changing the login credentials. They do not support advanced security features within their design, which further increases threats to the IIoT ecosystem and requires expertise for securing the hardware and the data. Enterprise technology security requires multiple protection layers, and organizations must develop a good framework for IIoT governance.

The IIoT market is expected to have a steady growth with upcoming technological advancements in data collection, analysis and implementation, as well as devices. This means there is an increasing demand for the cyber and physical security in the IIoT market to ensure data is secure and not corrupted, as well as that devices are not an access point for bad actors.

Companies can either employ IT security experts or cybersecurity specialists to secure the devices and provide data protection or outsource such tasks to a company that specializes in IoT security. Presently, various IoT developers often focus on long-term partnerships, in which the partner company oversees system and device management of the system and device after deployment with mandatory security regulations.

About the author
Vaishanavi Kumbalwar is a fun-loving, independent, unconventional and original thinker who loves to put her thoughts into words. She holds a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering and currently works as senior associate content writer at Allied Market Research.

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