Is industrial cybersecurity a good specialization?

Hey everyone,

I’m an electrical engineer working on transitioning into automation. I’ve been researching interesting areas in automation and I came across industrial cybersecurity which sounds like a great focus.

Is cybersecurity important in the industrial sector? Do you think job prospects for people with knowledge of automation and cybersecurity are good in the upcoming years?

Thanks in advance!

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I would say it’s getting pretty important with the steady growth of (IIoT) Industrial Internet of Things.

Also, these days, a lot of systems offer remote monitoring and control capabilities. In fact, over the past few months, I’ve been given remote access by a customer, and although it was through a secure VPN connection, I could see many things potentially go wrong with these types of situations if everything isn’t configured right.

I can imagine that as of today, you’ll find that the strongest demand for industrial cybersecurity skills comes from companies operating critical infrastructure (e.g. Power Grids), but over the next 5 years, I think demand will increase across the whole industrial sector.

There have been numerous cases of security breaches in manufacturing environments in the last few years. I am certain that cybersecurity will continue to expand as the risk of operations interruption is becoming greater each year.
When it comes to knowing “both”, I’m not certain it would be a good match. I believe that cybersecurity will fall under IT for the most part. The reason is that as a control systems engineer, you need to focus on automating a process while understanding said process. There’s already a massive learning curve in this environment. I believe that you may have some networking knowledge, but to become an expert in both would be challenging.