OEMs and cyber – it’s time to get serious about IIoT security

OEMs and cyber – it’s time to get serious about IIoT security

Posted by: | Posted on: Tuesday, November 19, 2019

In my last article on the Modern Equipment Manufacturer, I took a detailed look at the rise of ransomware and talked about the current cybersecurity threat landscape. I also looked at the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and talked about whether connected industrial and commercial equipment is really a cybersecurity threat.

I concluded that the potential benefit to cyber criminals was too high to simply ignore connected equipment as a target, or as a potential entry way into networks.

The fact is, commercial and industrial equipment is necessary for companies to operate and employees to do their jobs. Bringing equipment to a stop can have significant ramifications on a company – making it very profitable to hold equipment for ransom. At the same time, lateral movement across a network from a connected device or system can also lead to the theft of sensitive data and other breaches.

So, now that we’ve established that IIoT security is a real problem, let’s talk about why it’s a hard one for OEMs to solve.

More boilermaker less cyber warrior
When you’re looking to build a great boiler, you’re looking to create a device that heats water as efficiently and effectively as possible. A good boiler – a real top-notch piece of equipment – will require the least amount of energy possible to take water up a single degree. And that’s what boiler companies are completely focused on.

The same thing can be said about HVAC companies. And refrigeration companies. And elevator companies. And wastewater centrifuge companies. Companies in these market segments and industries are focused on making their devices the best and most effective at their jobs. They’re looking to increase efficiency, make them more effective and make the jobs of the owners and operators of their equipment easier.

Many of the individuals that are designing and building these devices understand the physics and calculus of cooling a room, boiling water or getting people up a story in a building without them having to take the stairs. But their industry and solutions are changing on them.

 

This full article can be found on the Modern Equipment Manufacturer and is available here.