Points of View

Industrial IoT cybersecurity rests on integrating digitally native and legacy devices (and people)

Nov 21, 2019 Josh Matthews


As Industry 4.0 cements itself in enterprise strategies, the industrial sector must come to terms with an Achilles’ heel. The internet of things (IoT) is proving to be a pioneering change agent for industry, and cybersecurity is naturally a concern. The IoT’s ballooning coverage opens up an even greater attack surface for cybercriminals. Within the industrial IoT (IIoT), however, the prominence of legacy devices among newer, digitally native additions amplifies the challenge. The lack of IT awareness among industrial engineers and operators further magnifies it. There are three powerful actions security leaders of the industrial IoT can take to bridge the knowledge gap:


  • Pioneer cybersecurity literacy throughout industrial operations.
  • Make clear cybersecurity’s criticality to the operation and worker safety.
  • Bring engineers and operators into project conversations with cybersecurity vendors.


Cybersecurity is critical not only for day-to-day operations but also for innovation, and it can be the downfall of many an IoT project. But the stakes increase for industrial IoT, where network and system availability and resilience are critical not only to the business but also to worker safety. You don’t need to look far beyond the Norsk Hydro attack that cost the aluminum producer $75m – industrial executives will be carefully considering cyberattacks that might aim to go beyond the financial… and their consequences. 

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