IoT is present in our homes, in our factories, and on our wrists, but IoT technologies are nowhere near reaching their potential. The technology is improving rapidly, and new devices are connected every day. With advancing IoT technology, and the increasing importance of IoT in our lives, concerns over cyber security become more significant. How likely is it that your devices, whether they’re in your home or in your factory, will get hacked, and what can you do about it?
IoT continues to grow
The Internet of Things is the connected network of everyday items. Things that are connected through the Internet of Things can send and receive data to and from one another. For example, your smartwatch can sync with your smartphone, and both devices can communicate with your computer. Fitness enthusiasts love this form of IoT, but this is a very basic use of connected devices.
Imagine wearing clothing with sensors woven into the fabrics that detect body heat and perspiration. These sensors could send an alert to your refrigerator, which would pour your favorite drink when you get hot and sweaty. Not only does your fridge pour the drink, but it makes your drink to your preferred temperature of 37.5°F with 2-ounces of crushed ice, so you have a cold beverage, just the way you like it, waiting for you when you walk in from yard work or exercise. Scenarios that sound like science fiction are well within reach with our current level of technology.
Of course, the IoT has much more potential than allowing you to track your physical activity or pouring a glass of water so you don’t have to. The real benefits of IoT can be found in the Industrial Internet of Things. A connected network of manufacturing devices improves productivity, increases responsiveness and customization, improves distribution, eliminates waste and downtime, and makes manufacturing better in general.
Can your IoT devices get hacked?
The short answer is yes. Connected devices are at risk for attacks, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that you should be concerned about cyber security with all IoT devices. A smart refrigerator that connects to the Internet is more susceptible to tampering than a traditional refrigerator that connects only to a power outlet and a water line. That being said, there’s probably an equal likelihood that someone will tamper with a smart fridge or a traditional fridge.
You have to be aware of a devices potential to be hacked, however, and you might even want to take steps to increase security on connected devices. But before you set up an all-out firewall it’s important to consider how likely it is that your device is hacked, and whether or not the consequences warrant concern.
Should you worry about IoT devices getting hacked?
You have to consider the likelihood of your device being hacked, and the consequences of a device being hacked. Security of some devices matters more than others. For example, your refrigerator security probably isn’t all that important. Nothing bad happens if someone taps into your fridge. If you want to keep your milk consumption private, by all means increase the security on your refrigerator. However, your home security system, or your phone that contains all of your bank account information needs to be secure.
Are IIoT devices at risk?
As with IoT devices, any machine, device, contraption, or gizmo that’s connected to the Internet is at risk of being hacked. Manipulating machinery to catch fire or explode is certainly a terrifying thought, but it’s not the only way that IIoT devices might get hacked. Competitors could gain insight to production processes, distribution methods, or other important information that could be used to give the competition an unfair advantage. This doesn’t mean that manufacturers should steer clear of IIoT technologies, however.
IIoT is the next chapter in manufacturing, and manufacturers should consider security as they move forward with technology. Is your factory ready for Industry 4.0? Make sure that your Indramat motion control system is running like it should. Give us a call today for any of your Indramat needs!