Operational technology, which includes supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) systems, industrial control systems (ICS), and programmable logic controllers (PLCs), is at the core of many large enterprises. The integration of these systems with IT exposes them to cyber threats that can disrupt production, compromise product quality, and even pose risks to human safety.
Large enterprises operate on a complex digital infrastructure. IT systems responsible for data management, communication, and business processes are interconnected to OT systems that focus on controlling physical processes like manufacturing, energy distribution, and critical infrastructure. Cybercriminals exploit this interconnectivity and target vulnerabilities in both IT and OT environments, allowing them to gain unauthorised access.
Cyberattacks on large enterprises can lead to severe consequences, including financial losses, reputational damage, and operational disruptions. In OT environments, these consequences can be particularly devastating as they extend beyond the virtual world, impacting the safety and functionality of critical industrial processes.
The Rising Threat to Operational Technology
While IT-OT convergence brings advantages, it also exposes organisations to new threats, especially in the form of zero day attacks. Beyond IT-OT convergence, critical infrastructure is often located in remote locations which makes them easily accessible and susceptible to threats. For example, smart metres in buildings, AGVs, CCTV cameras, and smart street lights to name a few. These types of OT infrastructure are all potential attack points that can lead hackers to move from these OT devices to the supervisory control systems and then to your corporate IT systems. Vulnerabilities in an OT system can leave critical infrastructure at risk of sabotage that can result in life or death situations.
Consequences of OT Cyberattacks on Large Enterprises:
Cyberattacks in OT environments can have dire consequences. It’s no longer just an “IT problem” and cannot be ignored. Here are some major outcomes of cyberattacks on large enterprises:
Safeguarding operational technology is paramount for large enterprises and implementing robust OT cybersecurity measures is essential to protect against cyber threats. MicroSec provides solutions to detect, protect, and prevent anomalies that may enter the OT network and corrupt devices, thereby preventing catastrophic outcomes that can be life-threatening. Is your organisation equipped to face zero day attacks that can impact your IT and OT systems?