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Why Cyber Security for Operational Technology? Why now?

Updated: Aug 1, 2020

We know that cyber security has been a trending topic as per our previous post, and yet its as if there's no single time or event you can point to that says "okay, we really, really need it now".

Even after major hacks like Stuxnet, Saudi Aramco hack and the more recent Triton despite creating physical threats to human life it just hasn't been enough to push it alone.

We do know it is trending so what gives?

The 3 key drivers for OT Cyber Security are:

  1. Increase in attacks (more reported attacks)

  2. Advancement of technology (digitalisation, data and connectivity)

  3. Regulation (Governments protecting Critical Infrastructure)

With these 3 drivers combined, we see why now is the time for OT Cyber Security to get the attention it needs.

How do we know these drivers push cyber security?

You've already experienced it. Actually it takes looking at it from a different perspective. Cyber security is an enabling technology for anything digital.

If it weren't for encryption and certificates for websites (the green box around the https:// part of an address) no internet banking would be possible.

Would you agree that internet banking is a high security, high risk activity?

Yet you comfortably transact over the internet. The cyber security enabled this to be a possibility.

So before you think that IIOT, AI, ML and Cloud Technologies are not desirable because of the cyber security risk. Rather once OT cyber security reaches a certain maturity, these future digital technologies will come in more rapidly.

There are still questions to answer around reliability and performance for sure but that doesn't mean the technology change won't come either way.

If you are weighing up learning more about Operational Technology, now is the time to get ahead of the curve because nothing is changing and in fact it is just the beginning. The IT/OT convergence will continue and those engineers that can speak both languages will thrive knowing the old tech and the new.

Download our free Operational Technology Ultimate Guide for Engineers by signing up and checking out the resources page to brush up your understanding.

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Cool topic!

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