Computer systems intended for use in manufacturing, related sectors, and key infrastructure (power, water, etc.) are referred to as operational technology (OT). Utilizing unique software and protocols to connect to legacy and proprietary systems, they automate, monitor, and supervise the operations of industrial machines.

The border between OT systems and IT settings has traditionally been kept clear; however, with the growth of the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), this line is becoming less apparent. OT security is now more important as a result of these changes.

Operational Technology (OT) Security Best Practices

The level of security in operational technology environments frequently falls short of that in IT systems. It's necessary to develop OT security best practices to protect these OT environments and systems against cyber threats.

OT Asset Discovery

Networks for operational technology can be complicated, and many firms don't have complete access into their OT assets. The fact that an OT network may be dispersed across numerous factories or geographical regions makes this issue more difficult to solve. OT device detection is an essential initial step in an OT security plan since operational technology networks must be fully visible to the assets connected to these networks in order to be effectively protected.

Network Segmentation

When IT and OT networks were physically cut off from one another, operational technology networks were historically safeguarded by an air gap. While this does not offer complete security against cyber threats, it made it more challenging for an attacker to access and exploit vulnerable OT assets.

Organizations must replace the air gap as IT and OT networks merge in order to safeguard older systems that weren't intended to be connected to the Internet. A firewall that is familiar with OT-specific protocols can examine traffic for potentially dangerous content or orders and enforce access rules across OT network segment boundaries thanks to network segmentation, which enables the separation of assets inside the network.

OT Threat Prevention

Technology used in operation Given the possibility of false positive mistakes in threat prevention technologies, cybersecurity methods frequently rely on detection. The performance and availability of the system may be affected if a valid action is mistakenly identified as malicious and blocked. Because of this, OT security was frequently reactive, with viruses and threats treated as soon as it was practical.

This security strategy leads to OT systems being infected with malware, endangering their ability to function. Additionally, a variety of threats can be swiftly identified and stopped, posing little risk to regular business operations. An enterprise can increase the security of its OT assets in an era where cyber threat actors are increasingly focusing on these systems by using operational technology threat prevention.