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The road to industrial IoT security

February 25, 2020 / FABIEN MAISL

One of the main topics of this year’s RSA Conference is IT-OT cybersecurity convergence. But what are we talking about? Industrial IoT (IIoT) is all around us: in water, in gas, and electricity distribution networks, running power plants and critical infrastructure, in production lines and transportation networks, and more. In the traditional IT world, security risks involve threats that would undermine the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of data and systems. Given that in 2019, $3.5 billion was lost to known cyber-scams and ransomware according to the FBI’s Internet Crime Report, the impact is largely financial. IIoT drives the physical world where operational technologies (OT) are used. The risk in IIoT environments involves threats that would undermine the operational safety (physical security of goods and people, environmental impact) and the availability or even the physical integrity of the production process. Theft of intellectual property and trade secrets is a major concern, and the impact is not just financial, but also social, human, and ecological.