Practically every tech professional understands that the IT acronym stands for information technology. However, over the last few years, a new concept entered the industry lexicon: OT. It defines operational technology, which relates to the monitoring of manufacturing and industrial processes.
With the Industrial IoT (IIoT) growing in importance, naturally, the world of IT and OT increasingly overlap. Not surprisingly, this convergence requires cybersecurity teams to consider new ways to protect these systems from cybercriminals. In fact, unethical hackers are creating new threats aimed specifically at the industrial control systems (ICS) used for OT. So let’s look more closely at this critical topic for modern SecOps professionals.
What Does The Convergence of IT and OT mean for SecOps?
The New Cyber Threats Targeting ICS and OT Systems
The proliferation of IP-connected devices in the manufacturing/industrial space creates a host of new targets for cybercriminals. At the same time, companies in this sector leverage third-party providers for maintenance and support of these devices. In many cases, they use a remote desktop protocol for access. Needless to say, this is a critical security risk.
A new cyber threat called “disruptionware” focuses on stopping industrial processes in their tracks. It leverages techniques found in ransomware, bricking, botnets, and more for nefarious purposes. Cybercriminals from novices to state-sponsored criminals use disruptionware to target manufacturers and other industrial businesses. As such, companies operating in these sectors must use the right monitoring tools for both IT and OT networks.
The Growth of The IoT and 5G Networks Raises The Stakes
As noted earlier, manufacturing businesses increasingly use the IIoT to monitor processes in their factories. The expansion of 5G networking and its lower latency makes this remote monitoring more seamless. However, many of these IoT devices are consumer-grade. Therefore, connecting them to ICS systems raises the risk of a cyberattack.
Closely track the use of these lower-grade IP-connected devices with state-of-the-art SecOps monitoring tools. Ultimately, more IoT devices mean more entry points for unethical hackers. Ensure your SecOps team also has everything it needs to protect your company’s OT and ICS systems.
Ensure Your Cybersecurity Staff is Large Enough to Protect OT Infrastructures
Ultimately, the convergence of IT and OT systems increases the workloads for your SecOps staff. Is your team large enough to handle this additional responsibility? Don’t let the difficulty found sourcing experienced cybersecurity professionals put your industrial business at risk.
Ready to Hire Cybersecurity Professionals?
If your company needs to hire more cybersecurity engineers, connect with Redbud Cyber. As one of the top SecOps staffing agencies in the country, we provide the influx of talent your business needs. Schedule a meeting with us to discuss your current hiring needs.