IoT vs ICS security
IoT (Internet of Things) and ICS (Industrial Control Systems) are similar but very different. IoT security is the technology area concerned with safeguarding connected devices and networks in the IoT. ICS security is the area of concern involving the safeguarding of industrial control systems, the integrated hardware and software designed to monitor and control the operation of machinery and associated devices in industrial environments. By allowing devices and machinery to connect to the internet opens them up to a number of serious vulnerabilities if they are not properly protected.
When ICS is placed in the same category as IoT, it combines the systems, purpose, value and risks of two totally separate communities. The primary source of risk for all internet-connected devices is the fact that there are many sensitive things that happen in this world and that connecting those functions to networks inherently exposes them to the possibility of being exploited.
Cybersecurity is a more prevalent challenge for IoT devices with many commonly used IoT devices containing vulnerabilities. Hacking home networks could have important repercussions for personal privacy. However, if an industrial IoT system is compromised, which involves connecting sensors to critical infrastructure resources such as power plants and water management facilities, the repercussions would be more severe. ICS hacks usually result in millions of revenue being lost, people can be injured or killed and the result typically has an overall effect on livelihoods and economies. With this being said, ICS installations must meet far more demanding cybersecurity requirements before installations are approved for use.
The main unifying component between IoT and ICS is that their operation went from analogue to digital; from being isolated to connected. Once the similarities are acknowledged, it will then be easier to distinguish between the two concepts and apply the correct security measures accordingly.