Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Logistics sector must strengthen IoT security, says Inmarsat

Steve Rogerson
May 7, 2019
Businesses in the transport and logistics sector recognise their approaches to cyber security must be strengthened but are not yet taking the practical steps to safeguard their IoT deployments, according to a study for satellite communications company Inmarsat.
The study, which surveyed 125 businesses across the transport industry, revealed that 64% of respondents reported that their processes to combat cyber-security threats could be stronger, and two thirds (66%) said more could be done to protect against data mishandling.
However, despite recognising the enhanced security threats of industrial IoT, just 38% have invested in new security technologies and only 39% have partnered with security specialists for assistance, indicating that not enough is being done to secure operations. One driver for this response is a lack of relevant skills, with 59% of respondents reporting that they lacked staff with cyber-security skills to deliver their industrial IoT deployments.
“While industrial IoT presents immensely exciting possibilities for businesses across the transport and logistics sector, it also increases the risk that they will face cyber-security issues, and our research suggests that they are unprepared for these risks,” said Tara MacLachlan, vice president at Inmarsat.
She said a network was only as secure as its weakest point, and with industrial IoT increasing the potential surface area for cyber attacks, transport businesses must ensure that they harden every element of their IoT deployments.
“Without secure industrial IoT networks, businesses may leave themselves open to cyber attacks designed to cripple transport and logistics infrastructure, ransomware or industrial espionage,” she said. “Truly secure industrial IoT deployments must have security built-in from the ground up. This must include secure access management, secure execution environments, enhanced data encryption, and smart validation and authentication between sensors, gateways and the software orchestration platform.”
Looking at the results of the study, she said that not every transport business had the skills or technology capabilities to ensure an IoT deployment was secure from end to end.
“Businesses need to collaborate with specialist providers who can offer a fully managed IoT service that considers security at every stage, from the edge sensors, to the gateways and orchestration platforms, to the connectivity and networks themselves,” she said.