As the world becomes more connected than ever, it means more devices are connected to networks with sensitive data and technology and creates more potential endpoints for cyber criminals to exploit. That includes more sensitive technology such as Operational Technology.
Operational technology is the set of procedures and systems used that are relied upon by critical infrastructure industries such as electrical grids, water treatment plants, manufacturing and more. OT and its machines and operations are now more connected digitally, making them an extremely high value and vulnerable target for cyber threat actors to attack.
We’ve seen examples of operational technology attacks on critical infrastructures have serious impacts over the last several years and create major headlines such as the Colonial Pipeline attack, the attack on the Oldsmar, Florida water treatment plant, as well as attempted attacks recently on water supply plans in Aliquippa, PA and North Texas.
As OT becomes more intertwined with IT, it becomes a major target because much operational technology in use involves legacy systems, including public safety systems, that are not designed with cybersecurity in mind or with protections put in place to guard against potential network intrusions.