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The importance of Cyber Security within Operational Technology

“OT infrastructure and equipment are some of the most valuable assets manufacturing and industrial companies own, but these same pieces of machinery are also some of the most vulnerable to cyber-attacks

– Todd H. Poole, Principal, Hewlett Packard Pathfinder

Operational Technology (OT) is the use of hardware and software to monitor and control physical processes, devices, and infrastructure. Modern day life depends on the smooth running of OT, from power production to traffic light management, street lighting, food production, manufacturing and chemical production.

OT priorities are often safety, reliability, and availability, as there are clearly physical dangers associated with OT failure or malfunction. With the world continuing to strive for more automation, advancing inter-connectivity and further efficiencies, there is an increased convergence of enterprise digital technologies with operational technologies.

This convergence of technologies has led to increased and new security vulnerabilities where traditional corporate IT security tools are not able to provide appropriate safeguarding measures.

In the digital era, many manufacturers are relying on technology to assist their production. A successful cyber attack could cripple their operations and cause major delays and even safety risks depending on the environment, e.g., chemical plants, public infrastructure, defence, as well as shutting down public services such as oil and gas.

In the last year, half of British manufacturers have been victims of some form cyber-attack, with 63% of those facing losses of up to £5000 and 22% making losses of between £5000 and £25,000.

Having strong cyber security can help protect operational technology from cyber attacks, and to prevent vital manufacturing lines and resources from being disabled, keeping businesses and infrastructure running.

A security platform, designed from the ground up for Operational Technology offers the required proactive monitoring and protects OT in its own domain. Designed to protect OT networks and safeguard operations, Fundamentals First offer a 24×7 managed service with a best in class OT Cyber Security platform.

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