Operational Technology (OT) systems detect and can create changes by direct monitoring of all physical devices and processes in a company’s system. OT is usually found in Industrial Control Systems and other critical infrastructure. OT is used to control power stations, air traffic control, shipping systems, and run public transportation, expanding and integrating with other networks to create a more robust OT cyber security. This can only be strengthened when the blind spots are identified and fitted to be safe from any sign of attack. While many think of this being an IT matter, OT is also involved but not as thought of.

OT Network Monitoring involves getting ready to pay a high cost of the necessary stuff that is so unaffordable to smaller businesses and only major cities and corporations can afford. OT's modernization with IT comes with a lot consideration with security. Many OT systems were originally not designed for access in another location which can easily result in issue with connection. Unfortunately, those systems are not updated and the vulnerabilities of OT systems leave companies and their critical infrastructure at risk of cyberattacks and sabotage that causes a lot of damage.  

Not looking at OT is similar to having the back door unlocked, where the firewall is up with a strong vulnerability assessment, but it does not consider the OT’s vulnerability. Security with the  information technology (IT) is high, but the OT becomes the underbelly and a dangerous place easily exploited by professional hackers. Half of Internet-connected devices are not covered in the firewall and are exposed in the OT underbelly. Your PCs may be safe, but phones and voice-operated systems can be penetrated to expose personal information such as credit cards and social security information and even passwords to other types of accounts.

Securing OT Networks involves various measurements including process control domains (PCD), distributed control systems (DCS), supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) systems, safety instrumented systems (SIS), and Industrial Control Systems (ICS). Some OT factors have longer lifecycles compared to what’s in IT, providing major gains in certain areas of focus like data storage, processing, and communications. To cut down on costs and speed up response time, OT networks integrated IT-based systems, but the risk of mistakes remain high and in development. They are still a work-in-progress, but the challenge of complete security without disruption is still the ultimate goal.

Thanks to the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), a convergence of IT and OT are exploring an important issue, which is knowing the differences between the two and their cybersecurity systems. The tech and organizational side of things have to then be sorted out and thought of before being developed with a defense system that is highly effective against various invading threats. Trojan horses, malware, spyware, and other types of threats can be countered with the right OT cyber security so all systems are safe from harm. 

OT Network Monitoring

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