Although the IT and OT environments are coming together under the influence of the digital transformation, the protection against cyber risks in the industrial segment requires different functionalities. It is about finding the balance between people, organisation and technology.
OT is prevalent in the critical infrastructure and the industrial sector, amongst horticulture, public works and healthcare. With the raise of technologies such as Big Data, Data Analytics and the Internet of Things, organisations have increasing business needs to integrate OT with IT networks via connections to the internet. Numerous challenges on the general as well as the technical level threaten secure operations due to increasing cyber risk. Responsibilities are unclear, awareness is still lacking, and communication is suboptimal. Together with technical challenges and hiatus in the law, OT is left with cyber security difficulties.
The vulnerability of OT systems to cyber exploitation can vary dramatically from asset to asset, depending on (1) how the asset's OT and information technology (IT) networks are architected; (2) the extent to which they are integrated; and (3) the hardware, software, firmware and protocols used within the networks. There are numerous real-world examples of how OT systems were exploited.
OT Security round table consortium
The need for more awareness about the vulnerability of OT systems to cyber exploitation has resulted in a collaboration between businesses and government bodies. The OT round table consortium aims to develop concrete activities, whereby:
- New insights are gained about the nature and extent of cyber exploitation of OT systems and how IT, IoT are connected to the OT security domain.
- A growth in opportunities for integrated public-private cooperation (i.o. Triple Helix) will be encouraged, and
- Recommendations towards government agencies will be employed on a regular basis, with the aim to raise awareness concerning the vulnerability of OT systems and the measures that need to be taken.
Part of this Operational Technology Security programme for the years 2020-2021 is:
- An online HSD Cafe Talks event, including a survey (open from 28 May - 11 June).
- An article based on the survey results and reviewed by the OT round table consortium.
- Interpretation study about OT Security and its relation with IT and IoT.
- Best practice portfolio about vulnerabilities of OT systems to cyber exploitation and lessons learned.
Interested in joining the OT Security round table consortium? Contact HSD Innovation Liaison: Marlou Snelders: firstname.lastname@example.org
Watch HSD Café Talks