Avoiding the internet of insecure industrial things

Lachlan Urquhart, Derek McAuley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Security incidents such as targeted distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks on power grids and hacking of factory industrial control systems (ICS) are on the increase. This paper unpacks where emerging security risks lie for the industrial internet of things, drawing on both technical and regulatory perspectives. Legal changes are being ushered by the European Union (EU) Network and Information Security (NIS) Directive 2016 and the General Data Protection Regulation 2016 (GDPR) (both to be enforced from May 2018). We use the case study of the emergent smart energy supply chain to frame, scope out and consolidate the breadth of security concerns at play, and the regulatory responses. We argue the industrial IoT brings four security concerns to the fore, namely: appreciating the shift from offline to online infrastructure; managing temporal dimensions of security; addressing the implementation gap for best practice; and engaging with infrastructural complexity. Our goal is to surface risks and foster dialogue to avoid the emergence of an Internet of Insecure Industrial Things.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)450-466
Number of pages17
JournalComputer Law and Security Review
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 17 Jan 2018

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • industrial internet of things
  • cybersecurity
  • network and information security
  • data protection
  • smart grids
  • industrial control systems
  • autonomous vehicles


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