Industrial security awareness continues to remain low
While traditional manufacturing industries were not designed with security in mind, the proliferation of networks and devices, disparate communication channels, and the use of off-the-shelf software has thrust cybersecurity into the spotlight.
Safety and security concerns associated with the high levels of connectivity and integration are surfacing as the concept of the Internet of Things (IoT) takes shape in the industrial networks and manufacturing plant floors. The alarming frequency of sophisticated and targeted advanced persistent threats has given further weight to the safety argument across both process and discrete industries.
New analysis from Frost & Sullivan finds that the global cybersecurity market for control systems is expected to grow at a rate between 20 to 25 percent every year till 2021. North America and Europe will remain at the forefront of creating awareness and initiating technology advancements that address attacks from advanced persistent threats.
“Enterprises currently employ a broad, layered approach towards protecting cyber assets while industry organisations work on establishing suitable standards,” said Frost & Sullivan Industrial Automation and Process Control Senior Research Analyst Sonia Francisco. “Partnerships among government, industry and research institutes will be vital in forming robust, industry-based standards that will speed up the development of comprehensive security management solutions.”
As the IoT concept transforms plant architecture, defence-by-default security strategies will give way to defence-by-design solutions. In-built security solutions that can sense, adapt, modify and respond to threats based on various ecosystem parameters will gain traction.
Creating industry- and application-specific solutions will also be crucial as information technology (IT) solutions continue to stream into the operational technology (OT) space. Solution providers in the IT and the OT ecosystems must join hands to deploy end-to-end cybersecurity solutions for industrial systems.
“Such extensive integration will require a new age workforce with both IT and OT expertise,” noted Francisco. “Cybersecurity service providers can provide training and change management solutions that will bridge the knowledge gap.”
As a majority of industries upgrade to smart systems and processes, industrial cybersecurity will soon make the inevitable shift from a reactive operating model to a proactive design philosophy.