Industrial security is seeing a convergence of OT and IT.

How IT and OT Meet are Improving Industrial Security

The security industry is evolving with every passing year. And in the past, cyber and physical security are two concepts that have always been disjointed, each offering a unique type of security service to the residential, commercial, and industrial sectors. However, in 2011, experts started realizing that the two would soon need to be merged.

Primarily, the focus was on converging, aligning, and integrating IT and OT environments. 10 years later, this realization is proving to be the cornerstone for almost every industrial development.

The industrial Internet, cyber-physical systems, and manufacturing/supply chain system evolution are converging information technology and operational technology (IT and OT) to bring industrial security to a new front: IoT security.

What This Means

Today, IoT is being used in industrial security more than ever and at a much broader scale. IT and OT used to be pitted against each other; interestingly, the concepts now offer a multi-faceted security framework to industries by covering cybersecurity and physical security together.

OT manages the operational side of an industry and may not seem like something that would ever take part in security services. From the factory floor to the truck fleet, inventory management, industrial robots, and other activities and assets, almost everything runs with a digital framework that is connected to the cloud one way or another.

This is where IT services come into play.

IT departments need to manage the digital aspects of these functions. The de facto convergence and integration with OT also mean that they need to be secured from cyberattacks. Without IT, OT may be vulnerable to misuse and sabotage, just like computers and cell phones.

For example, ransomware attacks on IoT infrastructure or data centers may result in the industry having to halt operations entirely and pay a ransom to get control of their equipment in time. This may lead to immense losses in the short run and have lasting impacts in the long run.

Industry 4.0 & IoT

With the Industrial Internet (or Industry 4.0), the primary industries that need to implement IoT include:

  1. Manufacturing plants
  2. Utility services
  3. Smart grid operations
  4. Logistics
  5. Smart buildings
  6. Mining, and more.

These industries have been using IoT infrastructure for quite a while, and recently, connectivity between different elements has boomed. This increased connectivity results in an increased capacity to gather information, receive and send instructions, embed intelligence, and put devices to work.

The digital framework monitoring these issues is introducing new possibilities for data analysis. While IT does the digital heavy lifting, OT implements it into the physical world.

The technology is relatively new, especially in the mining sector, which may mean that industry IT departments may not be able to secure their IoT in practice. It is a race between cybersecurity teams and attackers to see who can find an exploit first.

If you would like to learn more about how security services can help you with this new infrastructure or need any other type of security system for your residential, commercial, or industrial space, Americom experts are here to help. Give us a call and see how we can help!