Securing the Industrial Internet of Things

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October 26, 2021 | Originally published by National Institute of Standards and Technology on October 12, 2021

The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) refers to the application of instrumentation and connected sensors and other devices to machinery and vehicles in the transport, energy, and industrial sectors. In the energy sector, distributed energy resources (DERs), such as solar photovoltaics, introduce information exchanges between a utility’s distribution control system and the DERs to manage the flow of energy in the distribution grid. These information exchanges often employ IIoT technologies that may lack communications security. Additionally, the operating characteristics of DERs are dynamic and significantly different from those of traditional power generation capabilities. Timely management of DER capabilities often requires a higher degree of automation. Introduction of additional automation into DER management and control systems can also introduce cybersecurity risks. Managing the automation, the increased need for information exchanges, and the cybersecurity associated with these presents significant challenges.

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