OT and IT systems are merging, leading to new attacks and new targets

July 15, 2021

Operational technology (OT) and information technology (IT) have historically had separate remits and have been siloed from each other. However, in the age of the Internet of Things, Industry 4.0 and digital transformation, these two components are becoming increasingly merged and interconnected, leading to novel problems that require innovative solutions.

Digital transformation has led to a revolution in across manufacturing and other such industries, offering increased productivity and capability. Linking IT to OT systems such as manufacturing machines and robots provides greater monitoring and control over these instruments, allowing businesses insight into their working conditions and outputs. This means that businesses can be alerted when a machine or device needs repairing or replacing, or automate processes for greater efficiency.

However, these connections can also create an inherent insecurity within an organisation’s systems. For examples, a business that has integrated OT and IT may find that their OT technology is now being targeted, which could lead to faulty products. While of course the scale of magnitude of this kind of disruption depends on the kind of product that the business sells, the best-case scenario in such a situation is a product recall and loss of revenue. The worst-case scenario – for example, if a car part was faulty – could lead to injuries, or even deaths.

That’s why it is important to consider cybersecurity from all angles, no matter what industry your business operates in. And this doesn’t mean all of your existing machinery should go into the dump – in fact, cybersecurity solutions like ANGOKA’s Device Authentication Units are retrofittable to existing technologies, saving businesses money by preventing costly cyberattacks.

There is so much opportunity from IoT and Smart technology that businesses can capitalise now and will be able to take advantage of in the future. And with the right cybersecurity in place, businesses can be assured that their products and services will be protected as well.

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