The IT-OT Connection: How the Two Work Together

The IT-OT Connection: How the Two Work Together

Where hardware meets software, attackers can sneak in. More and more, threat actors are targeting Industrial Control Systems (ICS) and Operational Technology (OT). IBM X-Force found that the number of attacks against those types of assets increased by over 2,000% between 2018 and 2019, with the number of ICS and OT attacks in 2019 having eclipsed the total volume of attacks for the preceding three years combined. Many of those IT-OT attacks involved password spraying. Others cover the exploitation of known openings affecting Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) and ICS OT assets.

How the IT-OT Convergence Contributes

This is partially due to the ongoing convergence between OT and information technology (IT).

For years, most entities kept these two teams separate. IT and OT teams worked in their own respective silos. IT workers came to understand the need for access controls, encryption and other security basics in order to defend the enterprise against an emerging array of web-based threats. Meanwhile, OT workers sought to keep their SCADA systems, ICS and other industrial assets running in the name of public safety and national security. There was no need to expose those OT systems to the web. They just needed to make sure those devices continued to function properly.

Side Effects of Digital Growth

Things changed for many entities when they launched into their respective digital transformations. Along the way, they realized that they could improve th ..