OT Networks Are Often a Black Box for Security Teams and Don’t Have the Telemetry to See and Monitor Industrial Environments
Every company in the world relies on operational technology (OT) networks. For nearly half of the Fortune 2000 – in industries including oil and gas, energy, utilities, manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, and food and beverage – these networks are critical components to their business. The rest rely on OT networks to run their office infrastructure – lights, elevators, and datacenter infrastructure.
Adversaries understand the importance of these networks and have attacked them boldly to create widespread havoc, as in the case of WannaCry and NotPetya. They also know how to manipulate them in more subtle ways that would not be immediately observable but could erode public trust. For example, disrupting production of the top pharmaceutical companies to create shortages of medications, or tampering with the industrial machines responsible for logistics at our largest transportation hubs to bring commerce to a standstill.
The more important OT networks are to your business, the more essential effective OT security is to the success of your operations. In fact, it enables your business in three important ways: 1) protecting “business as usual,” 2) reducing risk from digital transformation, and 3) securing remote access. Let’s explore these further.
1. Protect business as usual
For organizations whose OT networks are the lifeblood of their business, revenue is generated and customers’ lives are improved when those systems are up and running. Any risk that threatens availability and uptime can have significant financial impact when systems must be shut down and restarted. Attacks can also be devised to put product delivery at risk, creating changes in a product that aren’t desirable in many, different ways, such as tampering with machinery to change recipes, or contaminating wa ..