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Increased Concern for Cyber Attacks on Industrial Control Systems

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A U.S. government cyber security official has warned that there has been an increase in attacks that penetrate industrial control system networks over this past year and that increased diligence is required.  This warning does not bode well for current B2B focused Internet of Things (IoT) focused technology vendors hoping to capture increased market interest.

Within our Supply Chain Matters 2016 Predictions for Industry and Global Supply Chains (Now available for complimentary downloading in our Research Center), we predicted that IoT initiatives would continue to dive into the realities of line-of-business strategy and deployments. Included in these realities is the current lack of consistent global-wide standards addressing data security concerns.

In a published Reuters report, the Director of the Department of Homeland Security’s Industrial Control Systems Cyber Emergency Response Team (ICS-CERT) indicated: “We see more and more (cyber attacks) that are gaining access to that control system layer.” Overall concerns have been raised from last month’s incident in Ukraine when a power outage occurred from a cyber attack alleged to have originated in Russia, the first known power outage caused by a cyber attack. According to Reuters, security specialists attending the recent S4 conference in Miami Florida indicated that the Ukraine incident has caused U.S. firms to ask whether their systems are vulnerable to similar incidents. At that conference, in an on-stage interview, the ICS-CERT director observed: “I am very dismayed at the accessibility of some of these (industrial) networks…

From our lens, IoT technology vendors should best be directing their 2016 efforts and support in the area of industrial network security safeguards as well as insuring consistent security protocols and standards. Line-of-business and manufacturing teams working on IoT initiatives should obviously have data security weighted high on their initiatives.

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