Note: This blog is part of an Entrust Datacard blog series on Ensuring a Trusted IoT, which explores how Entrust Datacard solves industry-wide security and trust problems. Check out Part One on Connected Cars and Part Two on Devices & Networks.
There’s a fundamental shift taking place within the energy landscape.
As new technologies and innovative solutions enter the picture, companies are working to modernize existing power infrastructures and deliver secure, reliable and affordable energy to end consumers. One significant driver of this transformation is the Internet of Things (IoT). IoT-connected devices have the potential to not only deliver cost savings to energy and utility enterprises, but also provide more value-added services to consumers.
While there are plenty of IoT-driven opportunities for the energy and utility sectors, reaping the benefits of industrial IoT (IIoT) requires prioritization of an important factor — security.
What an IIoT future holds
By 2020, the size of the IoT in the utilities market is predicted to reach nearly $12 billion.
That’s a lot of growth in a short amount of time. And with that growth, comes an increased difficulty of striking the right balance between leveraging existing infrastructure and operations and pursuing more advanced energy production and distribution technology. IIoT helps energy and utility companies rise to the occasion by ushering in new levels of connectivity, automation and interoperability.
Increasingly connected meters and sensors provide access to troves of operational data, which can be used to improve analytics, optimize operations and ultimately make utilities more flexible and efficient. For example, smart meters enable both companies and users to more accurately track energy consumption. These useful insights can help alleviate some of the stress on energy demand while also delivering increased financial benefits to energy and utility enterprises. In fact, the use of smart meters may save utility companies as much as $157 billion by 2035.
Risk mitigation and data integrity are critical to realizing IoT’s potential.
As industrial control systems and other massive infrastructures look to integrate with IoT technologies, the security of connected devices and networks must remain top of mind. Otherwise, industrial attacks and breaches may have dire consequences. Just last year, hackers launched a cyberattack against Ukraine’s electric grid, causing blackouts across the country, disabling backup systems of power distributors and impacting more than 230,000 residents.
Considering the critical nature of these systems — and the mounting cybersecurity threats against them — establishing a connected and trusted infrastructure is crucial.
With the Entrust Datacard ioTrust platform, enterprises can authenticate and authorize devices, applications and people across an IIoT ecosystem. The deployment of trusted identities, secured by enterprise-grade encryption technologies, mitigates risk and ensures data integrity. More importantly, all of this can be done without interrupting performance or compromising existing systems. By realizing the value of digital assets via ioTrust, enterprises can use connected technologies to deliver unprecedented data security and control within operational environments.
Join the IIC and Entrust Datacard for an educational security forum on May 10, Driving Secured Digital Transformation for Enterprises and Industrial Infrastructures.