Industrial cybersecurity awareness is low despite attacks

10 September 2015

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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, The Safety-Security Argument: Expanding Needs in a Connected Enterprise, finds that the global cybersecurity market for control systems is expected to grow at a rate between 20to 25 per cent 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.

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Frost & Sullivan Industrial Automation and Process Control Senior Research Analyst Sonia Francisco says: “Enterprises currently employ a broad, layered approach towards protecting cyber assets while industry organisations work on establishing suitable standards. 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 systems. In-built security that can sense, adapt, modify and respond to threats based on various ecosystem parameters will gain traction.

Creating industry- and application-specific systems will also be crucial as information technology (IT) systems continue to stream into the operational technology (OT) space. IT and the OT ecosystems providers must join hands to deploy end-to-end cyber security products for industrial systems.

Francisco notes: “Such extensive integration will require a new age workforce with both IT and OT expertise. 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.

The The Safety-Security Argument: Expanding Needs in a Connected Enterprise is a Market Insight that is part of the Industrial Automation & Process Control Growth Partnership Service program. This study provides a strategic outlook of cyber security requirements and best practices in the era of connected assets and connected enterprises. The Insight sheds light on the challenges, opportunities and strategies in the cybersecurity space evaluated following extensive interviews with market participants. Go to for further information.

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