Electricity + Control

Enterprises across the global supply chain recognise that their approaches to cyber security must be strengthened, but they are not yet taking the practical steps to safeguard their Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) deployments.  This is according to a study undertaken on behalf of Inmarsat, a world leader in global, mobile satellite communications.

The study surveyed 750 businesses across the global supply chain. Among these, two-thirds (66%) of respondents reported that their processes to combat cyber security threats could be stronger and 68% said more could be done to protect against data mishandling.

However, despite recognising the higher security threats of Industrial IoT, just 33% have invested in new security technologies and only 29% have partnered with security specialists for assistance. This indicates that not enough is being done to secure operations. One reason for this response is a lack of relevant skills: 56% of respondents reported that they did not have staff with the cyber security skills to cover their IIoT deployments.

Commenting on the findings, Tara MacLachlan, Vice-President for IIoT at Inmarsat Enterprise said: “While Industrial IoT presents immensely exciting possibilities for enterprises across the global supply chain, it also increases the risk that they will face cyber security issues, and our research suggests that they are unprepared for these risks.

“A network is only as secure as its weakest point and with Industrial IoT increasing the potential surface area for cyber-attacks, enterprises need to ensure that they harden every element of their IoT deployments. Without secure Industrial IoT networks, they may leave themselves open to cyber-attacks designed to cripple industrial machinery, or dealing with ransomware or industrial espionage.”  

MacLachlan added that, ideally, secure Industrial IoT deployments should have security built-in from the ground up. This should include secure access management, secure execution environments, enhanced data encryption and smart validation and authentication between sensors, gateways and the software orchestration platform.

“As we have seen from the results of this study, not every enterprise has the skills or technology capabilities to ensure an IoT solution is secure from end to end. Enterprises may need to collaborate with specialist providers who can offer a fully managed IoT service that considers security at every stage, from the edge sensors, to the gateways and orchestration platforms, to the connectivity and networks themselves.”

Inmarsat is a leading provider of managed Industrial IoT services across the global supply chain. With a track record of operating reliable and secure commercial mobile satellite networks globally for almost 40 years, and advanced capabilities and experience with IoT technologies, Inmarsat is well placed to help organisations secure their Industrial IoT initiatives. Security is embedded in Inmarsat’s IoT solutions and throughout its core network and operations, which are protected by a dedicated cyber security team monitoring and counteracting threats 24/7/365.

For more information contact James Grisbrook, Inmarsat Enterprise, email: james.grisbrook@inmarsat.com or visit: www.inmarsat.com