A Detailed Guide To Industrial IoT: Everything From Risks To Benefits

In this content, you will explore everything about industrial IoT (IIoT), including its benefits, working and associated risks.

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October 16, 2019
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The advent of new technologies is constantly transforming the way of data analysis. In the business world, data is the core of nearly every significant decision. Every company wants to capture maximum relevant data through which the overall business processes can be improved at an entirely new level. Gathering relevant data is one of the most daunting business tasks. But technological advancement has made it easier today. The emergence of IIoT is the power tool for businesses. It helps companies to gather essential technical data. Later on, companies analyze that data for the betterment of business processes and improved efficiency. In this content, you will explore everything about IIoT, including its benefits, working and associated risks. Firstly, let’s discover what IIoT is all about.

The Concept of IIoT in Detail

IIoT stands for the industrial Internet of Things. IIoT implements the concept of availability, intelligence and connected devices. At its simplest, IIoT helps to connect multiple industry devices. It could be anything. Be it factory machines, aeroplane engines or vehicles. The IIoT connects all the devices to a wireless network. All the connected devices have sensors. The sensors collect and share devices’ data on the network. IIoT enables companies to use cost-effective sensors, and wireless, high-speed bandwidth networks. With such networks companies can easily integrate all the devices together. With the help of real-time data transformation, data tracking and monitoring is extremely effortless.The device’s shared data help companies to analyze each device’s status to understand if there is any performance issue with the machine or device. In case, if the devices or machines are not working, then companies repair them to improve business efficiency.

How IIoT Improves Business Efficiencies?

IIoT provides faster real-time data to the companies. All the data come from sensors that enable companies to read and analyze it. On the basis of data analysis, businesses decide where changes are necessary. Companies make necessary changes as per data indications, and the new changes ultimately improve the overall productivity and efficiency of the business processes.

Top Industries that are Prioritizing IIoT

A number of internet researches show that 85% of the companies will embrace IIoT in some of its major business key areas and the IoT industry will surpass $1 trillion by 2020. However, right now IIoT is taking attention of the particular industry segments among which the top three industries are mentioned below:

  • Manufacturing industry
  • Retail industry ‘
  • Utilities
  • Transport industry.

How IIoT Will Transform Manufacturing Industries?

IIoT will be a game-changer technology for manufacturing industries because of its robust connecting powers. With IIoT, manufacturers will better understand the faults of the production lines, particularly about manufacturing machines. It will help business owners to get a better idea about which machines and operations need an upgrade. Also, IIoT will reduce the downtime of machines, and help businesses to follow a pre-active approach about machine servicing.

IIoT in the Retail Industry

IIoT will play a crucial role in the retailing industry. The technology will aid retailers to find potential bottleneck of the supply chain processes. IIoT will significantly reduce the costs for retailers and increase users’ satisfaction through connected dashboards, and customizable IIoT platforms, accessible for all shapes and sizes of the retailers market.

IIoT and Utilities Industry

IIoT will bridge the gap between the utilities and consumers. It will entirely transform the way how utilities industry manages, measure and distribute energy. It is also expected that the IIoT technology in the utilities industry will promote controlled and managed monitoring, control and automation across the distribution network. IIoT will enhance the overall asset management with a more connected workforce and greater customer reach and transparency.

How Transportation Companies Will be Leveraging IIoT?

Transportation companies will be leveraging IIoT advancements in several ways. Logistics and transportation can impact the performance of any business because all are interconnected somehow. IIoT will help transportation companies in monitoring fleet management. Apart from fleet management, IIoT also helps transportation companies to track real-time location. On the insights based on tracked data, logistics and transportation companies will deploy re-routing features to make alternate arrangements because real-time tracking will be done easily.

Businesses that Are Already Leveraging IIoT

Currently, a lot of companies are planning to leverage the IIoT technology. However, businesses that are mainly involve in the supply chain process of oil and gas are showing keen interest and they are designing and deploying the IIoT network. Integrating devices and machines together will help oil companies to better analyze the performance of existing equipment. Moreover, IIoT networks will also fuel up the organizations to take well-informed decisions with the help of data sharing and analysis. IIoT approaches will enable oil and gas businesses to take strong, future-oriented decisions.

IIoT and Its Associated Risks

Since IIoT is a vast technology area and can connect billions of devices and machines at a time therefore, the security risks associated with the technology are also high. We will analyze all the security risks of the technology in detail. Let’s take a look at some of the major reasons why IIoT is more prone to security threats? IIoT has more potential for security threats because of the fact that IIoT technology involves several components and connected devices that transmit data using internet.

The Most Common IIoT Security Threats

IIoT is a complex infrastructure that involves internet and data transfer quite frequently therefore, it has more than ever potential for the cyber-attacks. Some of the most common security threats of the IIoT environment are given below:

  • Device Hijacking

Device hijacking is one of the most difficult to detect cyber-attacks. In this attack, a device works in a usual way but, in reality, it has been hacked and controlled by hackers and also affect other connected devices. For example, a hijacked electricity meter can also hijack other linked meters that allow the hijacker to take complete control of the organization’s electricity data.

  • DDoS Attacks

DDoS refers to “distributed denial of service attack.” This type of cyber-attack caused by various resources and block the human interaction for accessing the systems. It is considered as the most harmful cyber-attack in an enterprise IIoT environment.

  • PDos Attack

Permanent denial of service or PDos attack is a cyber-attack that permanently disrupts an entire enterprise workflow. Some major examples of the PDos attacks are:

  • Interrupted production
  • Defected equipment and products.

How to Maintain Security in the IIoT Structure?

IIoT structure is undoubtedly an efficient way for an organization’s growth, productivity and efficiency. Therefore, maintaining security is a real challenge otherwise, it may cause serious harm to the organization. There are a few ways through which companies can ensure security in the industrial internet of things.

  • Notice Vulnerable Devices

Companies can identify cyber-attacks when they make a complete record of the IIoT components. It means that organizations must register everything including, smallest IoT sensor to complete manufacturing plant. So, if any component will be infected it will be easier for the company to detect it.

  • Monitor Irregular Activities

Each device on your IIoT network has a specific way of behaviour. In case, if any of the device is misbehaving, then you should notice it because it may be an indication of security breach. Monitoring each device is not a good option, you can only monitor the most critical devices, and it will be enough to detect the virus. Moreover, monitoring only critical devices will also give you the chance to quickly remove malfunctioning devices. It will protect other devices from being infected.

IIoT is the Future!

The emergence of IIoT is the power tool for businesses. It helps companies to gather essential technical data. Later on, companies analyze that data for the betterment of business processes and improved efficiency. Are you ready to explore IIoT?