Top 5 skills needed for the industrial IoT

A blending of technologies to create new IIoT products and services will call for new expertise.

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cyber security Thinkstock

Cybersecurity – Cyber security will be a major concern for companies that, to date, probably haven’t had to think much about it much. As older machines are turned into data-generating network endpoints and linked together with new equipment and then tied into backend ERP systems and supply chains, a company's attack surface expands exponentially.

All of this will require rigorous oversight and security designed-in from the outset. Existing control systems, never meant to be connected to the outside world, will also have to be hardened against outside attack (think Stuxnet or the New York dam hack). Knowledge of industrial IIoT standards will also factor heavily in the required knowledge base of these individuals.

Once you put new sensors on an old machine it becomes a "cyber physical system", said Idan Udi Edry, former CEO at Nation-E and an expert in IIoT cybersecurity. That means cyber security specialists will have to expand their knowledge base dramatically to incorporate 40 years of machine-based protocols.

"The main problem is having the old world connected to the new one," he said. "So you will see the generator is spinning at 5,000 RPMs and in the NOC [network operating center] it shows that it is running at 5K. But if it was hacked and it is running at 10K, you are screwed."

This is why many companies pursing Industry 4.0 are taking a more holistic approach to security by opening security operations centers (SOCs) alongside their NOCs, he said.

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