Connecting your OT environment: How secure are you?

Connecting your OT environment: How secure are you?

The worldwide changes resulting from the post-pandemic new world continue to reach across business boundaries and accelerate dozens of technology shifts. With the ongoing trend of the last 10+ years to smarter factories, cities, plants, transportation systems, and mine sites, we’re also seeing increasing pressure to connect more of these smart OT systems to the traditional IT infrastructure. These business pressures to manage smarter, faster, and with anyone from anywhere will only increase the pressure to access more and more data from these OT systems.

The pressures to increase connectivity are also being driven by the newly branded “Artificial Intelligence” and “Machine Learning” business platforms expanding and gaining credibility. Additionally, ecosystem partnerships are multiplying, with expertise now often located in different countries and continents. And finally, our own staff and potential staff are demanding to be more mobile and flexible in their approach to work.

Security and your connected systems

With the many changes and risks associated with increasing connectivity to these OT systems, each of these changes increases the security threats to OT environments. With these systems often driving billions of dollars of revenue and the associated safety of thousands or millions of people; these threats are no small challenge. And yet, the business advantages of securely connecting and enabling these environments will divide companies into the “haves” and the “have nots”. The “haves” will enjoy increased agility, business flexibility, and access to broader insurance and partnership options. As a customer once shared with us: “the brakes on our cars allow us to drive faster,” so too with security.

Many of the concepts for strong data security have been established and proven in the IT space with clients such as banks and hospitals, yet there are critical differences between IT and OT systems. These differences require a comprehensive joint strategy to ensure the technologies supporting the critical processes and data of the organization are secure and rapid measures can be taken should a breach occur. That said, as noted in the recently published Gartner Peer Insights survey of 100 IT and InfoSec professionals across the globe, “77% of industrial organizations are still in the beginning stages of their OT security journey”. Most companies are at the very early stages of beginning these discussions.

The IOSecurity methodology to safeguard your IT infrastructure

This being the case, IOSecure has developed a methodology specifically designed to meet customers where they are. We tackle two basic questions:

  • Am I Secure?
  • Can I continue to be Secure?

The reason we break it down into these basic steps and focus on “meeting customers where they are” is because we’ve found through years of experience no two situations are the same. As noted in the prior mentioned survey: “most organizations are just beginning their OT security journey;

  • 11% of respondents have started their journeys with industrial demilitarized zones (IDMZ) to secure production sites
  • 22% have started implementing OT visibility solutions
  • 44% are scaling OT visibility across all sites and leveraging initial insights to fix some OT security issues
  • only 23% of respondents have scaled their OT visibility deployments, and even fewer are leveraging these tools in an advanced security strategy.

Take your next step to infrastructure security

What does all this mean?

The accelerating pace of digitization and its advantages are being matched step by step with the growing risks of increased exposure to cyber-attacks. While cyber insurance is an important tactic of last resort, the need to work with experienced teams and proven technologies that can help you close your security gap and keeping that gap closed is critical to sustainable competitive advantage. IOSecure is at the ready to help.

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