The current trend in industry is the convergence of IT and OT systems to access real time data and interconnect facilities.
This is driven by the growing need for quantitative management reporting, assisted by ‘big data’ and sensor technology, artificial intelligence, physical automation, remote operations, cloud computing, and analytics for enhancing productivity/production.
Through this convergence, systems that were previously closed in many respects are now linked and exposed to all of the risks that have existed in the IT space for years. Individuals or groups looking to exploit these new-found vulnerabilities have emerged to take advantage of this exposure.
Convergence of itself is not the problem, however there remain profoundly different priorities between IT and OT that cause a discontinuity in the security space. The priority of IT is to protect data, therefore the IT evolution has seen tools, practices and procedures put in place to protect IT systems from cyber attacks. In the OT space the main priority is to protect the asset base and its associated production.
This has translated to minimal effort or changes being undertaken in the OT cyber security space, as production almost certainly would have to be taken offline to accomplish this goal.
This production loss, and the associated loss of revenue combined with the cost of designing and implementing the necessary solutions has resulted in OT systems significantly lagging behind IT systems in addressing cyber security threats.
In this podcast we critically assess the industries journey to cybersecurity, and if the grid is evolving quickly enough to protect itself from severely damaging attacks and who carries the cost burden to secure this critical infrastructure.
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