The Difference Between OT and IT
This is the first blog post in a series dedicated to spotlighting the world of Operational Technology – or “OT”. Not many people have heard of OT, the less famous cousin to IT, so we’re going to give this important, yet often ignored, sector of technology some due attention.
If you’re new to OT, Gartner characterizes it as “hardware and software that detects or causes a change, through the direct monitoring and/or control of industrial equipment, assets, processes and events.”
OT is particularly important for a couple of reasons.
First, OT manages our nation’s critical infrastructure, including the operation of industrial equipment and processes – from manufacturing and transportation, to electrical grids and water treatment facilities. The water we drink, the food we eat, the power we consume – and even the national security we rely on – it’s all possible, in part, due to the use of operational technology.
Second, the worlds of IT and OT are converging. Advances in technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT) and data analytics are being more and more integrated with OT systems.
And lastly, with the Biden-Harris Administration announcing its National Cybersecurity Strategy earlier this year, the security of U.S. OT has become a primary focus – and more is now being asked of the administrators that oversee our water, power and transportation networks.
By parsing OT information from around the web, we hope this blog will help people understand OT a little better, including what’s happening within the industry, and why cybersecurity is critical to this sector of technology.
Without further ado, here’s some recent OT news you can use:
- McKinsey & Company recently issued a report on “How to enhance the cybersecurity of operational technology environments”
- TXOne Networks, Trend Micro’s dedicated OT security subsidiary, has released its annual ICS/OT security report. This report consists of three studies: insights from ICS/OT cyber incidents, an analysis of the ICS/OT security market, and an online survey of asset owners. This blog post presents the essence of the report.
- The convergence of IT and OT continues to make headlines. Security Magazine published an excellent primer, “IT and OT cybersecurity: Bridging the divide”.
- GovInfoSecurity recently published an article on the need for OT cybersecurity: “Rising Industrial Attacks Require Suppliers With OT Smarts”
That’s what’s up with OT. Until next time…