Certainly, IoT is the buzzword today for business operations. With 5G soon entering the communication fray, IoT will overcome all hurdles to become a ubiquitous technology for businesses.
In this direction, integration of operational technology with IT is said to be exceptionally worthwhile. The integration will aid control of operations and provide greater insights to business decision makers. To that end, the integration will be enticing for most businesses, especially the ones with physical assets.
The integration of operational technology and IT entails mega change for businesses. For instance, manufacturing units with hundreds of devices not in use will witness them joining the network. The integration opens new frontiers that overcome the struggle of traditional approaches for security.
Integration of IT and OT carries Risk of loss of Critical Data
Meanwhile, the integration of operational technology and IT has its own challenges. Firstly, operational technology (OT) devices are physical in nature and are not in loop of traditional IT network. This implies an attacker to have easy access to unsecured OT assets, which create pathway for critical IT systems. The link from OT devices to IT systems is via IP connections that the former rely on.
In certain situations, the use of non-standard operating systems by connected machinery manifolds the problem. A combination of lack of regular security patching along with incompatibility with standard IT tools will be problems that will come to the fore.
In the integrated environment, preventing malicious elements make the jump from OT to IT will be a task. In the connected OT/IT model, securing real sensitive data will be a key for organizations.
Currently, individuals handling maintenance and operations equipment in an IT/OT integrated model operate under totally different set of policies and motivations than what cybersecurity professionals operate under.