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June 30, 2023
Operational technology (OT) is way behind when it comes to security, especially compared to what’s going on in the corporate IT security world. As organizations start to think about trying to catch up, the big question becomes: Where do we even start?
OT security has become so top of mind the past couple years because of how it drives the physical world – and cyberattacks are getting more severe. In fact, in a recent survey from Barracuda Networks, over 90% of organizations said they experienced a security incident in the last 12 months. Think of the Colonial Pipeline incident – that was an OT security breach, which shut down gas on the east coast and caused a panic. It’s a public issue affecting many industries – which is why a number of them have made it a priority to address and strengthen their cybersecurity strategies.
So, how should OT organizations start to build out a security framework to address OT vulnerabilities? Here are four best practices to tackle first:
It's not just OT organizations that are prioritizing security. The White House’s recent Cybersecurity Strategy is defending critical infrastructure as well, which is a move in the right direction because it puts an emphasis on safety. Regulations are powerful, because it forces organizations to pay attention and often moves the needle in helping security teams get budget approval for security investments. As an industry, we should welcome this support and look forward to further federal involvement to encourage investment in people, process and technology for all critical industries.
Regardless of where things land from a regulation standpoint, it’s essential to protect OT networks now, before it’s too late. Following the four steps above will help you start your journey to a more secure and resilient organization.
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Optiv is the cyber advisory and solutions leader, delivering strategic and technical expertise to nearly 6,000 companies across every major industry. We partner with organizations to advise, deploy and operate complete cybersecurity programs from strategy and managed security services to risk, integration and technology solutions. With clients at the center of our unmatched ecosystem of people, products, partners and programs, we accelerate business progress like no other company can. At Optiv, we manage cyber risk so you can secure your full potential. For more information, visit www.optiv.com.
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