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Industrial Security: Operational Technology More Vulnerable to Cyberhacking than IT

By Dick Weisinger

Operational technology (OT) refers to the hardware and software that are used to manage the operation in the context of utilities, manufacturing, services and defense. In these environments, software is used to monitor and control devices that regulate physical processes.

Cole Reports estimates that the global Industrial Security market will reach an annual expenditure size of $26.54 billion by 2025.

A report by the Ponemon institute found that:

  • 57 percent of businesses expect to be targets of cyberhacking.
  • 48 percent said the the risks involved with breaches to OT systems is greater than with IT systems.
  • 63 percent say that their IT and OT security efforts are not coordinated.

Petr Láhner, Executive Vice President of the Business Stream Industrial Service & Cybersecurity at TÜV Rheinland, said that “OT systems differ in function and technology from classic corporate IT. At the same time, successful cyberattacks on OT systems often cause particularly high levels of damage to the companies affected… It is alarming that in the view of the experts surveyed, there are too few financial or professional resources available for OT security. In addition, a holistic view of the security of industrial plants is often still lacking. In an increasingly networked world, industrial plants are only really secure if both their IT and OT cybersecurity is addressed.”

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