The convergence of IT and OT unlocks valuable data from Industrial Control Systems and provides more operational visibility to make better business decisions, but it also provides nefarious actors access into industrial control networks. Many OT systems have not been properly safeguarded through updated operating system patches, protocol isolation, strong encryption, and multi-factor authentication, or network and user access monitoring.
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Over half of all industrial sites use unpatchable operating systems such as Windows XP, according to a recent CyberX survey. Many systems that can accept patches are done on an infrequent basis, introducing a host of potential ways to compromise control systems. The last several years have seen some of the most dangerous cybersecurity attacks of all time.
A “zero-trust” approach for access to OT systems needs to be employed to not only maintain reliable industrial processes but also safeguard civilization.