Wireless devices threaten factories

cheap-tabletsA report from a market research company said that security is becoming a key question for wireless networks used in industry.

IHS said that wireless network devices in factories worldwide will rise from 2.1 million in 2012 to 3.4 million by 2017.

Mark Watson, an associate director at IHS, said there’s a gorwing trend in the bring your own device (BYOD) in the manufacturing sectors, with people using both smartphones and tablets to monitor and control industrial equipment.

“Such devices may lack adequate security, offering hackers easy access to confidential data – or allowing them to spread malware through factory automation systems,” he said.

To counter the threat, some manufacturers are employing the so-called honeypot method – essentially a fake system that lets business monitor hacking threats.

He said that WirelessHAT and ISA 100.11a are the major industrial wireless technologies and used more in process industries, while WLAN and Bluetooth are more common in discreet industries.