New-Tech Europe Magazine | Q2 2021

The Rise of Industrial IoT and How to Mitigate Risk

Yaniv Vardi, CEO of Claroty - the industrial cybersecurity company

With the acceleration of digital transformation and convergence of IT and operational technology (OT) networks, Internet of Things (IoT) and Industrial IoT (IIoT) devices are becoming essential tools for companies in sectors including oil and gas, energy, utilities, manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, and food and beverage. Whether optimizing individual processes or entire factories and other critical infrastructure ecosystems, these devices are helping drive production efficiencies and improve reliability, responsiveness, quality, and delivery. However, as companies introduce more IIoT devices that typically are not designed with security in mind,

they also introduce risk to their environments. Nearly four years ago, NotPetya impacted a wide swath of multinational corporations in sectors including healthcare, energy, and transportation, bringing operations for many to a standstill and causing an estimated $10 billion in damages. Over the years, we’ve seen examples of how hackers can compromise connected cars to tamper with critical systems, such as the engine and brakes. And, recently, we narrowly avoided an attack aimed at contaminating a water supply in Florida. It isn’t a big leap to imagine scenarios like threat actors disrupting production of the top pharmaceutical companies to

create shortages or tampering with the quality of products by food and beverage companies. Some of the latest threats to critical infrastructure include seigeware, where a hacker compromises the systems that every business relies on to run their office infrastructure – lights, elevators, air conditioning and heating, and physical security systems. And GPS spoofing allows attackers to interfere with navigation systems and dupe vehicle operators to go off course. There are many ways adversaries can use connected devices to take bold actions or operate in the background to disrupt our economic well-being and, worse, cause physical harm. And the risk is real.

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