IIoT security concerns worry business executives

IIoT security concerns worry business executives

Security still the major obstacle to industrial IoT deployment

Newly created IoT botnet infects 3,500 connected devices
(Photo by Yuri Samoilov)

Data security and privacy concerns are the major difficulties businesses face when using industrial IoT (IIoT), according to a new survey.

The study, carried out by Genpact Research Institute and IndustryWeek, in collaboration with GE Digital and the Industrial Internet Consortium, found that executives cited data security and privacy as problematic 37 percent and 33 percent of respondents, respectively.

Other concerns ranged from technology staff (35 percent), use of legacy systems (34 percent), and data quality (34 percent). Additionally, half of the business executives surveyed feel that the Industrial IoT increases their company’s susceptibility to cyber-attacks.

Most respondents (77 percent) see the ability to spur growth as the top opportunity from an effective IIoT implementation. Agility is also a top expected benefit from the Industrial IoT, cited by 75 percent of business executives.

Despite the critical awareness of Industrial IoT’s importance, underlined by nearly half of respondents who say their companies are currently developing a strategy, almost 30 percent will not have a strategy in the next 12 months.

Related: Farming and shipping first to power Industrial IoT revolution

IIoT strategies

“This survey shows just how critical the IIoT is for the future success of industries such as medical equipment, consumer packaged goods, manufacturing, and many others,” said Richard Soley, executive director, Industrial Internet Consortium.

“The next hurdle for many companies is to develop a clear IIoT strategy, and one that includes protection for sensitive data from cyber-security attacks. Successful IIoT adoption is expected to have a significant impact on business growth.”

HCL Technologies’ IoT taskforce head, Sukamal Banerjee, told Internet of Business that there are the obvious concerns over security and privacy.

“Organisations embracing the Industrial IoT must look to develop new security frameworks that span the entire cyber physical stack, from device-level authentication to application-level security. The other major barrier to overcome is the interoperability between existing IT infrastructure and systems, which has the potential to ramp up the costs and complexity of IIoT deployments significantly,” he said.

Related: Shell saves $1 million using IoT