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  • BTI Communications Group

The Importance of IoT Cybersecurity in The Manufacturing Industry


Employee of manufacturing industry standing on a warehouse.

Small and medium-sized manufacturers have a great opportunity to tap into the advancements of the Internet of Things (IoT). The potential for increased efficiency, connectivity, and productivity, SMMs should embrace IoT to stay competitive and drive growth.


Recent studies show that nearly half of manufacturing executives anticipate improved operational efficiency by investing in the Internet of Things (IoT) to connect machines and automate processes.


However, the implementation of IoT devices comes with a unique set of challenges that you must consider. Being prepared to combat any cybersecurity pitfalls is essential to take full advantage of IoT technologies.

According to a recent cybersecurity insights report from AT&T, the top concern for manufacturers when it comes to cyberattacks is the targeting of user and endpoint devices. In fact, a significant 71% of manufacturers expressed their worry in this regard.

This concern is not unfounded, as Cisco Umbrella has identified the manufacturing industry as the most vulnerable to cybersecurity ransomware attacks on endpoints. Manufacturers should be vigilant in ensuring the security of their devices to mitigate these risks.


In this blog, we’ll look into the importance of IoT cybersecurity & how to ensure a secure environment in the manufacturing industry.


IoT Risk Management and Vulnerabilities

The first step before creating the ideal IoT environment for your organization is identifying the potential challenges and vulnerabilities, and IoT security solutions you may need.


When incorporating IoT into your existing information security program, it's important to recognize the need for adaptation. While your traditional IT tools, processes, and procedures may be robust, they may not fully address the unique challenges posed by IoT cybersecurity.


It's crucial to understand the ways in which IoT differs from traditional IT, as this knowledge will inform the necessary adjustments to ensure comprehensive security.


What Makes Traditional IT Security and IoT Cybersecurity Different?

IoT Interacts with the Physical World

IoT devices are equipped either with sensors that collect information from their environment or actuators that cause “real world” objects to change. These sensors often collect a lot of sensitive real time data so identifying what and when information is collected is crucial to minimize IoT vulnerabilities.

If bad actors manage to get a hold of your actuators like a smart lock, your organization could be at great risk!


IT Devices Don’t Work the Same as IoT Devices

IoT devices can’t be equipped with the same security measures as conventional IT environments such as agents, or firewalls. As a result, conventional IT security practices are ineffective.

Lack of Common Cybersecurity and Privacy Features

IoT devices often lack crucial features such as logging and monitoring, updating for vulnerabilities, and necessary cryptographic capabilities to safeguard the sensitive information they handle.

It is important to acknowledge that these devices do not necessarily possess the same level of cybersecurity as traditional IT devices on the same network.


The Challenges of IoT Cybersecurity in The Manufacturing Industry

Conducting On Going Risk Assessments

Regular and thorough testing of smart devices is crucial to ensure they’re properly functioning and prevent any potential risks to endpoint security. It is paramount to prioritize timely support and maintenance services to achieve a strong defense against cyber attackers.


Threat Identification & Mitigation

A common network connects multiple devices, making it challenging to pinpoint the origin of a threat. To address this, it is recommended to develop specialized modules for identifying IoT vulnerabilities in both the software and hardware of the ecosystem. These modules assist in recognizing potential weak points and enhance overall threat identification capabilities.


Hardware Configuration

Hardware integration is crucial to ensure state-of-the-art performance and top-notch IoT Security in your organization. Failing to correctly integrate your IoT devices will make your organization vulnerable to illegal access, disruption, data theft, and more.

Keeping Data Safe

Ensuring the privacy of your employees’ and organization’s sensitive data is crucial to avoid costly disruptions. Data encryption is a must in IoT cybersecurity and encrypting your data will prevent you from becoming a victim of all kinds of cyber threats.

Combating IoT Vulnerabilities

IoT devices pose a significant security risk due to their lack of security features. This makes them an appealing target for hackers, especially considering their connection to vital information within your organization.

Furthermore, the consequences of a single device being compromised can extend beyond one organization, potentially impacting the security of its partners and vendors.


What Makes IoT Devices Vulnerable?

  • Since IoT devices are always turned on they are always visible to hackers.

  • Outdated common code libraries are used.

  • Crucial IT security features are often missing.

  • Passwords are not strong enough.

  • Authentication processes are not strong enough.

  • Not having established security protocols.

  • Off-date firmware.


IoT Cybersecurity & The Cloud

A secure cloud-native platform is essential for creating robust manufacturing operations. By incorporating stronger networks, automated threat intelligence, global scale, and simplified management, this platform ensures that IoT devices in manufacturing environments are well-protected. With this approach, manufacturers can enhance their security measures and safeguard their operations effectively.


Benefits of Implementing Cloud-Based Network Security for IoT Cybersecurity.


Increased Visibility

IT and security teams can now have a unified and simplified view of their global networks and security policies. This new experience allows them to easily identify and mitigate IoT vulnerabilities. With this streamlined approach, teams can work faster and more consistently to ensure the safety and integrity of their systems.


IoT Cybersecurity on Scale

Security teams can effectively detect, adapt, and defend against new threats using IoT cybersecurity data gathered from millions of networks worldwide.

These cloud-management platforms are not only capable of handling large amounts of data and devices but have also been proven reliable in managing sophisticated manufacturing infrastructure.

Simplicity

Simplifying the connection between data security, network security, and security intelligence is crucial in enhancing customer protection and promoting end-user compliance. By reducing complexity, we can effectively combat security threats and ensure a safer environment for all.


BTI, The IoT Cybersecurity Provider Near Me

Ensuring IoT security in the manufacturing industry is a challenging endeavor, but the consequences of neglecting it are worse! Let BTI take away all the complexities of IoT security! At BTI, we have 35+ years of experience in the IT industry and we can create, install, maintain, and provide the perfect IoT security solution for your specific business needs!


Do you want to make sure that your IoT devices are protected? Contact us today and schedule your free business assessment!

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