With IIoT and the concept of smart machines, a new form of the industrial revolution has begun. Experts name it Industry 4.0. The Third Industrial Revolution started in the 1950s, where we began incorporating electronics into machinery. After the 1990s, we incorporated computers into machines for data acquisition and better control.
The Fourth Industrial Revolution or Industry 4.0 is all about turning these computer-operated machines smart. This integration leads to smarter factories where machines communicate with each other and monitor the performance itself. IIoT is the cornerstone for industry 4.0 because this level of cross-communication was not possible before the introduction of smart digital devices.
Today, an operator can monitor the machine from a tablet or screen and is aware of every single detail without being present in the same room. If the machine senses something wrong with its working, it will duly alert the operator of the same.
By incorporation communication and interlinking between machines, Industry 4.0 brings a cohesive approach to the manufacturing/production floor, unlocking better productivity and profitability in the process.
Challenges and Cybersecurity in IIoT
Currently, IIoT faces two significant challenges – security and resistance to change. Security is of prime concern for any organization looking to adopt new digital technology.
There have been many surveys held by different outlets trying to find out what prevents companies from adopting the latest and greatest in IoT technology. And, the top reason is always concerns over data security and privacy. When you manage a company, the ideas that you have, and the data that you have collected must remain protected at all costs. If they end up in the hands of a competitor, it can lead to massive damage to your company.
Sadly, consumer IoT devices have had a bad reputation for being compromised in the hands of an expert hacker. And this view trickled down to the IIoT side of things. IIoT is not inherently secure, nor is any technology. We make technologies secure by adding security layers to work on top of it. Using secure protocols and setting up a robust security network is crucial for installing IIoT systems.
Another aspect that companies must realize is that installing a security system once and then forgetting all about it doesn’t work with modern digital devices. The type of attacks and threats keep on improving, and the security system must get updated regularly to keep prying eyes away.
So, IIoT cybersecurity isn’t a one-time installation, but a continuously evolving process. The security architecture must undergo scanning at regular intervals to ensure that there are no vulnerabilities.
Also, weak points must be quickly found out and fixed before intruders gain access to them.