A total of 96 per cent of IT security professionals are expecting to see an increase in security attacks on the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) this year, according to a new survey by security firm Tripwire.

The survey also revealed that 51 per cent don’t think they are prepared for security attacks on insecure IIoT devices, while 64 per cent said they do recognise the need protect against IIoT attacks.

David Meltzer, chief technology officer at Tripwire, said that industry professionals are aware that the IIoT presents security problems, adding that more than half of the survey respondents said they don’t feel prepared to “detect and stop cyber attacks against IIoT”.

He went on to say: “There are only two ways this scenario plays out: either we change our level of preparation or we experience the realisation of these risks. The reality is that cyber attacks in the industrial space can have significant consequences in terms of safety and the availability of critical operations.”

According to Robert Westervelt, security research manager at research firm IDC, as industrial companies continue to pursue the IIoT, it’s important to understand how it presents new threats to critical operations. He said that no longer is the concern for a cyber attack focused on loss of data, but rather on safety and availability.

He pointed to energy utility as an example, saying that cyber attacks could “disrupt power supply for communities and potentially have impact to life and safety”.

The Tripwire survey also found that 99 per cent of respondents expect IIoT deployment to increase, while 94 per cent expect the IIoT to increase risk and vulnerability within their organisations.

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