Abhay Bhargava, Frost & Sullivan, Dmitry Kuchynski, Vice President, and Peter Weldon, Manager, Digital14
The evolution towards a connected world is witnessing a massive acceleration, as the world sees accelerated IoT/IIoT adoption within the post-pandemic new normal. This evolution is not limited to personal/ household devices needed by today’s workforce but shared with the significantly more complex adoption in the commercial and industrial space.
The industrial controls segment, having an asset-intensive footprint, previously focused on operational improvements through automation, innovating in what has been named Operating Technology (OT). Traditionally, these OT/ICS networks were air-gapped (not connected to corporate networks or the Internet) to provide safeguards to the network, the ICS devices, and network performance. However, OT environments looking for additional control optimizations have been connected to organizational IT networks (and directly to the Internet in some cases). This connectivity was spurred by IT/OT convergence and third-party vendor’s looking to provide the same IT benefits to OT. Unfortunately, with these benefits comes additional cybersecurity threats, expanding the threat surface and business risk substantially.
Many organizations are at varying stages of this transformation, but all should be evaluating and adopting Cyber Security Operations Centers (CSOC’s) to monitor and secure the OT environment. There are some essential reasons for this:
1. Lower business risk and enhanced security posture
2. Higher business agility and confidence, independent of hardware, platform, or technology (including bespoke environments)
3. Faster response to cyber threats or breaches