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Convergence between OT Security and IT Security: the new challenges of Cybersecurity

Convergence between OT Security and IT Security

In the digital era we live in, cybersecurity has become one of the primary concerns for businesses worldwide. 

While we often hear about “IT security,” there is another dimension of cybersecurity that deserves attention: OT security, or industrial automation device security.

In this article, we will explore the convergence of OT and IT security, defining both concepts and examining the importance of an integrated approach to cybersecurity.

The current situation of OT and IT Security

In today’s highly interconnected world, industrial automation networks, known as Operational Technology (OT) systems, have become crucial for many businesses.

These systems manage critical industrial processes, from manufacturing to energy, and are often linked to physical devices such as sensors, actuators, and controllers.

Simultaneously, Information Technology (IT) networks manage business operations, including data, communications, and services.

The increasing interconnection between OT and IT creates a new landscape of cybersecurity challenges and opportunities.

Definition of OT Security

OT security refers to the measures and practices adopted to protect industrial automation systems and connected devices from cybersecurity threats.

These systems span from factories to critical infrastructure such as power plants and water treatment facilities.

The primary goal of OT security is to ensure the availability, integrity, and confidentiality of industrial processes.

Definition of IT Security

IT security is more widely recognized and focuses on the protection of data, networks, and corporate computer systems. This field deals with threats such as computer viruses, hackers, DDoS attacks, and more.

 IT security aims to ensure that business information remains confidential and that systems are operational and reliable.

Convergence of OT and IT

The convergence of OT and IT security is the result of the increasingly close interaction between these two worlds.

OT networks are becoming more digitized and interconnected with corporate IT networks. This convergence offers numerous advantages, such as increased operational efficiency and the ability to make more informed real-time decisions.

However, it also presents new security challenges as OT systems become vulnerable to the same cybersecurity threats that target IT systems.

The interconnection between OT and IT requires a holistic approach to cybersecurity. This means that companies must consider security at every stage of their processes, from data acquisition to system control and the transmission of information between OT and IT.

This integrated approach is essential to ensure that industrial processes remain secure and uninterrupted, regardless of cybersecurity threats.

Risk Management in the OT World

Risk management is a fundamental element of cybersecurity, both in the realm of OT and IT.

In the OT world, risk management involves identifying vulnerabilities in industrial automation systems and assessing potential threats.

Once vulnerabilities are identified, it is essential to take mitigation measures to reduce risk. These measures can include implementing firewalls, regularly updating software, and providing employee training to recognize and prevent threats.

The CyberTrust 365 Vision: Detection and Response

CyberTrust 365 assists companies in adopting an integrated approach to cybersecurity in both the OT and IT domains.

Given the increasingly blurred distinction between these two domains, it is crucial to develop Prevention activities in parallel with Detection and Response activities.

It is no longer feasible to respond to all attacks (which are becoming more numerous, intense, and dynamic) only when they occur.

It is necessary to intervene proactively through constant monitoring that takes into account risk indicators. CyberTrust 365 offers a range of Managed Services to prevent cybersecurity risks in both OT and IT environments, including:

Log Analysis

Vulnerability Assessment and Penetration Testing

Threat Intelligence Service

– Proactive Monitoring of IT Infrastructure

Conclusions

The convergence of OT and IT security is a crucial aspect of modern cybersecurity. 

Companies must recognize the importance of an integrated approach to cybersecurity to protect both their industrial processes and corporate data.

OT and IT security must work together to ensure the availability, integrity, and confidentiality of systems, thus contributing to the long-term success of businesses.

Maintaining strong cybersecurity requires constant commitment, but investments in security pay off in terms of operational continuity and data protection.

Relying on an external IT provider facilitates the management of all the necessary security activities depending on the business. 

Understanding the challenges and opportunities of the convergence of OT and IT security is the first step in successfully addressing cybersecurity threats in an increasingly interconnected world.

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