For the individual IT team, IIoT brings up issues of what would happen should a system error occur.Due to the interconnected nature of IIoT, this could result in downtime at best and employee injury or bad product reaching the customer at worst. Additionally, if old machines run different data architectures, integration can be very difficult.
The individual OT team sees many of the same problems, but from a different perspective. Cloud-connected machines might open a company up to a new kind of corporate espionage. Hackers in an unprotected system could override safety and quality control protocols, harming workers and product, or steal sensitive machine data.
To protect against these new threats on both sides, new solutions must be formed with a combination IT/OT task force. This team can counter the new threats in IIoT by taking the following steps:
- Identify and authenticate all devices and machines in the system. Many hacks can be thwarted by ensuring only verified devices and systems have access.
- Encrypt communications so any data that is stolen will be unreadable, protecting the integrity and the information.
- Institute a way to verify the data form the machines is correct, as any conclusions calculated form bad data are useless and even potentially damaging.
- Create a way to allow software and firmware update to take place securely, ensuring continuous improvement without jeopardizing operations.