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Why Is Industrial Cybersecurity Important for the Modern World?

Read Time: 4 minutes

We’re living in the middle of another industrial revolution: Industry 4.0. This revolution is fueled by data, as companies start to center their operations on gathering and learning from digital information. With all this data come some concerns over industrial cybersecurity.

You’ve probably heard of why cybersecurity is essential for your data usage. To protect your personal information, you should take steps like using strong passwords or VPNs. Just as you need to be careful about your internet use, companies need to think about their cybersecurity, too.

As production and logistics companies become more tech-forward, industrial cybersecurity grows more crucial. The modern world can’t function without the industrial sector. Cybersecurity protects the safety of everyone, not just their own operations.

Growing Cyberthreats

Industrial cybersecurity isn’t just a recommended step, but a necessity. In the modern world, industrial businesses can’t afford not to have strong cybersecurity measures. Part of the reason why is that cyberattacks are becoming more common.

Roughly 60% of companies said they experienced a cybersecurity issue in 2019. That’s a 10% increase from the year before. With cyberthreats on the rise, these companies need to be sure they have the tools to stop them.

Cyberattacks aren’t just something that happens to small, vulnerable companies. In 2017, FedEx lost $300 million as a result of a cyberattack on its daughter company, TNT Express. That same year, the Danish shipping company Maersk lost the same amount from the same malware.

Cybercrime is quickly becoming one of the biggest threats to the industry. As these kinds of attacks keep increasing, companies need to make sure they have the right defenses. Industrial cybersecurity may soon be a more pressing concern than physical security in some areas.


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Data Is Everywhere

Nowadays, you could say that every business is an internet company. It’s not just websites or marketers that are collecting and looking at digital data anymore. Similarly, these aren’t the only kinds of businesses that might be enticing for a hacker.

You’d have a hard time finding a large company that doesn’t do some amount of data analysis. For all its benefits, this information can also be a security risk. The more digital stats a company has access to, the more it has to secure.

Customer privacy is a growing concern in cybersecurity, and this applies to companies as much as anyone else. In today’s data-driven world, even manufacturers or shipping services could use sensitive information about their customers. If it falls into the hands of the wrong people, it could cause a lot of harm.

Companies today need to secure data like credit card numbers of addresses. Since their information isn’t the only data at risk, industrial cybersecurity is all the more critical.

Protecting the Industrial Internet of Things

At this point, you’ve no doubt heard of the Internet of Things (IoT). As more devices become part of this vast network, cybersecurity concerns over the IoT also grow. These same things apply to the expanding Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT).

The IIoT helps businesses out in several ways. It allows companies to measure how effective their operations are, track everything from a central point and streamline some of their processes. However, more connected devices mean more possible entry points for hackers.

Companies may have excellent security measures on their computers, but what about their robots and sensors? These businesses have more network-connected devices than ever before, so they have more to protect. Industrial cybersecurity today applies to a whole lot more than just office desktops.

If a hacker gets into the IIoT, it could present some physical dangers. The IIoT includes some heavy machinery, which could endanger employees if someone hacked into it and took control. Safeguarding the IIoT could mean protecting human health and even lives.

Industrial Cybersecurity Measures

In light of all these things, it’s apparent that companies should take industrial cybersecurity seriously. Businesses need to invest in well-rounded cybersecurity measures to protect their finances, customers and employees. Thankfully, as cybercrime is advancing, so are the tools that defend against it.

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has guidelines on industrial cybersecurity companies can follow. These include things like keeping industrial control systems (ICS) and corporate networks separate. That way, hackers can’t access one by finding a weak point in the other.

Companies can also ensure they include IIoT devices in their security measures. Today’s manufacturers have more possible points of entry, so they need cybersecurity that encompasses all these items. Many third-party security providers today offer solutions to cover things like IoT devices.

Modern industrial businesses have countless advanced cybersecurity measures at their fingertips. Given the dangers of cyberthreats today, it would be a mistake to pass on them. With thoughtful and thorough security measures, even the techiest of companies can be safe from cyberattacks.

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Category: Manufacturing & EngineeringTech


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Article by: Megan Ray Nichols

Megan Ray Nichols is a freelance science writer and science enthusiast. Her favorite subjects include astronomy and the environment. Megan is also a regular contributor to The Naked Scientists, Thomas Insights, and Real Clear Science. When she isn't writing, Megan loves watching movies, hiking, and stargazing.