Operational Technology (OT) has become a very common talking point around the Cyber Advisors office. For starters, let’s define OT.
OT is industrial level control systems that are typically outside of the IT realm. Some examples of OT are Energy Grids, video recording systems, security badges/fobs, elevators, fire sprinkler systems, and gas pipelines. Many of these systems are IoT based. Some are much more industrial based such as PLC controls for turning a switch on and off.
As our security world changes, we are seeing an increase in security vulnerabilities with OT. The Colonial Pipeline hack is an example of this. We are seeing this vulnerability move into building controls (HVAC), and other building critical systems as well. We are even seeing vulnerabilities at your local gas station car wash. Since a car wash is computer controlled, it can be breached.
In the past, IT and OT were generally two different divisions within the same business. This air gap was created between the two so they could not interfere each other, however this separation of technology made it twice as hard for businesses to transform with IT and leave OT behind. As IT and OT are converging and the air gap is evaporating, cyber threats and major security issues pose a real challenge to OT organizations.
OT generally resides in a more aging network. Aging produces risks not only with uptime, but with the lack of software and patching updates.
If you want to learn more about protecting your OT, please reach out to Cyber Advisors for additional information.