Industrial Network Cybersecurity: Debunking the Myths and Adopting Best Practices

Industry 4.0 or the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) are no longer buzz words. Many different industries including manufacturing, consumer and retail, energy and utilities, automotive, and the telecommunications sector are following the IIoT trend. In particular, manufacturers are embracing the IIoT faster than many other sectors, indicating the tremendous impact the IIoT and the realization of Industry 4.0 can have on manufacturing.

However, cybersecurity is still a major concern for managers before they can deploy IIoT or Industry 4.0 systems. One of the main reasons is that cybersecurity is not always the highest priority for traditional operational technology (OT) systems. As a result, when OT systems are connected to the Internet or connected to other IT systems, the OT system becomes a point of weakness for malicious attacks or accidental data loss. So why is cybersecurity so often overlooked by OT engineers? The answer can be traced to four common myths.

This paper explains why these four misconceptions are no longer true in today’s highly interconnected world, discusses the differences between IT and OT networks, and shares some best practice guidelines to help your organization successfully overcome these IT-OT differences and transition to IIoT or Industry 4.0 systems.

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