Managing Operational Technology Cyber Risk as a Critical Safety Hazard
Historically, Operational Technology (OT) systems have been isolated, whether virtually or physically, from Information Technology (IT) networks—making them undesirable targets for malicious cyber actors as there was typically no networked interface to attack. However, the days of physical isolation are coming to an end.
There has been a significant shift in operations as Industrial Control Systems (ICS) and OT networks are more frequently converging with IT networks. While this increased connectivity comes with a myriad of benefits—remote monitoring, real-time analytics and multisite connectivity, to name a few—it also exposes these systems to significantly increased cyber risks as they become higher priority targets for cyber threat actors.
In simple terms, expanding connectivity creates more vulnerability. There is a myth that some systems cannot be breached by attackers, but the fact is that if there is a single entry point – a connection with another system – there is a way for a hacker to get in. A single successful attack jeopardizes the entire interconnected system because when someone gets access to one area, they can get access to every area.
While no industrial operation is free of risk, evaluating your existing environment for OT cyber risks will empower your agency with the information it needs to systematically address those risks. ABS Group works with maritime, offshore, industrial and government clients to understand their unique OT risks and help them build cybersecurity solutions to reduce the likelihood of an attack.