As new technologies emerge and threat actors become more sophisticated, cybersecurity is constantly evolving. Whereas we used to focus solely on securing IT systems and endpoints, organizations must now take a more comprehensive approach, including operational technologies (OT) that control physical infrastructure.
The best defense for the cutting-edge, merged environment is a unified approach that leverages the strengths of OT and antivirus (AV) technologies. Organizations can collaborate with industry experts to implement an OT Security Solution and build an understanding of emerging risks and opportunities for collaboration across security domains.
What Makes OT Unique?
OT refers to computer software and hardware that detects or causes a positive change by directly monitoring and controlling machinery in factories, processes, and events.
Unlike traditional IT networks, OT systems are frequently designed with security as a secondary consideration. They usually run on embedded devices with long lifecycles and rely on legacy protocols and hardware not designed with today’s Cyber threats in mind.
Furthermore, OT disruptions can have serious safety and environmental consequences by interfering with physical processes. Security challenges in these environments include limited patching capabilities, real-time operations requirements, and integration with safety systems.
Issues Caused By The Segregation of OT and AV Technologies
The conventional segregation of OT and AV technologies has created flaws that threat actors have started to exploit. Historically, OT environments lacked security for endpoints and continuous visibility into new vulnerabilities due to a lack of integration.
As the digital and physical worlds integrate through OT and migration to the cloud, independent perimeters for security will become increasingly porous.
The Cruciality of Synergizing OT and AV Technologies
The convergence of OT and AV technologies is urgently required to close gaps that threat actors have begun to exploit. Systems for critical infrastructure lack real-time visibility and defense against emerging digital dangers that may rapidly propagate from IT to OT networks without adequate integration between these domains.
A comprehensive approach is required to identify, avoid, and react to multifaceted risks that endanger information assets and physical processes. Organizations can gain an overall understanding of risk across their environments by overcoming barriers and leveraging the strengths of OT and AV. This integrated strategy is critical for effectively securing today’s converged infrastructure and avoiding damaging incidents in our hyperconnected world.
Overcoming The Challenges Along the Road of Synergy
Technical incompatibilities, problems with performance, and organizational opposition to change are critical challenges organizations may face when bringing together OT and AV technologies. OT systems require a real-time willingness to respond, whereas AV solutions increase network traffic and system loads, potentially causing disruptions. These obstacles, however, can be overcome with a well-coordinated integration strategy.
Before deploying production solutions, organizations should thoroughly test them in isolated sandboxes to identify and address any reliability or latency-related problems. They can also implement AV solutions tailored to real-time OT environments.
Implementing solutions that converge both fields to lead to custom security approaches tailored to the organization’s requirements can help teams become more cohesive. Most challenges to effective integration can be overcome with transparency and a focus on shared comprehension between OT and AV fields.
Essential Benefits of OT and AV Synergy
- The integration provides an integrated perspective of unusual and potentially dangerous events across networks.
- Technologies that detect new and emerging threats can send real-time alerts to OT systems, allowing issues to be focused on before they interfere with operations.
- Organizations strengthen previously vulnerable areas, such as outputs and connections across IT and OT ecosystems, by combining defenses.
- Duplicated security tools and personnel are replaced with synchronized security tools, resulting in more efficient processes and resources based on emerging cybersecurity priorities.
- Bringing together disparate specialist areas fosters fresh concepts while enabling each to learn from the other’s abilities and unique perspectives on securing critical infrastructure.
Incorporating OT and AV technologies has become essential for effectively protecting today’s converged infrastructure against various modern hybrid threats. By combining the strengths of these domains, organizations gain improved accessibility, avoidance, adaptability, and effectiveness in protecting their systems, infrastructure, and physical processes.
Security must progress through innovation, education, and unified defense as the threat landscape evolves. Now is the time for all organizations to prioritize integration to help secure the future.
Featured image provided by Daniel Putzer; Pexels; Thanks