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The Internet of Things (IoT) has been changing the way businesses use technology for years now, and for the most part people have a basic understanding of smart devices and what they do. But what about the ‘industrial’ in Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT)?
Before we get started it’s worth defining IoT. Techopedia does this well:
“The Internet of Things (IoT) is a computing concept that describes the idea of everyday physical objects being connected to the internet and being able to identify themselves to other devices.”
To put it simply, the main difference between IoT and IIoT is the general usage of each. As the name implies, the Industrial Internet of Things deals with industrial scale usage such as supply chain and manufacturing, while IoT is much more consumer centric.
For example, the mining industry is beginning to embrace IIoT to increase productivity, improve performance and detect problems before they occur. Rio Tinto is expected to have 150 autonomous vehicles across the country by the end of this year.
According to the most recent CyberX report, 40% of industrial sites have at least one direct connection to the public internet. And plain text passwords are used by 69%. This leaves the door wide open for cyber criminals who can exploit these gaps to via malware with the intention of causing potentially irreparable damage to a business.
The Triton malware was designed to attack Industrial Control Systems (ICS) and in late 2017 an attacker deployed malware that had been specifically created to manipulate industrial safety systems in the Middle East. The repercussions could have cost lives and had a damaging impact on the environment, but luckily the attack triggered a shutdown response instead of disabling it.
This attack led technology company, and The Missing Link partner, FireEye, to make the following recommendations:
So, if you’re in the business of operating industrial machinery or have IIoT in your sights, make sure you consider the potential repercussions of cyber attacks and talk to a team of security experts, for example – our amazing team here at The Missing Link - about how to protect your business.
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