OT Cybersecurity: Benefits and Applications

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Cybersecurity is an essential and stable investment in your business. You cannot ignore cyber security whether you are a multinational corporation or a local small business owner. Cyberattacks can cause irreparable damage to your business, so it is crucial to take adequate steps to protect against them. 

That is where OT security comes in. But what is OT security? Simply put, it is a protective barrier between the organization and its external environment. It is a protection mechanism that counteracts cyberattacks on an organizational level. 

This article aims to explain the benefits of OT cybersecurity. Understand how it can help organizations better control their business network security.

OT Cybersecurity

Not many know what is OT security at a deeper level. OT security is the umbrella term for all aspects of computer security. It includes data protection, malware detection, prevention technologies, and information security policies. 

It also includes auditing network systems to ensure that they are operating correctly and securely. OT cybersecurity is the responsibility of an organization’s Information Security Officer (ISO).

The ISO should be able to answer questions about securing their organization’s data and network assets. They should be able to explain what types of threats exist today and how to prevent them with technology.

The OT cybersecurity program involves the following:

  • Examining the network environment to identify potential threats and vulnerabilities
  • Creating an effective security plan that addresses these threats and vulnerabilities
  • Implementing security measures on all IT assets

Benefits of OT cybersecurity

Cybersecurity is a problem that affects all types of businesses –– large and small. Large organizations have the resources to invest in cybersecurity, unlike smaller companies. Even if you’re small, you can still enjoy the many benefits of cybersecurity. 

The benefits of OT cybersecurity are many. They include:

  • Better customer service. An organization can improve its customer experience by using technologies such as chatbots and VAs. This can be done by automating repetitive tasks and providing live support for customers.
  • Increased productivity. A team of employees with different skills and education levels can work together more effectively. This is unlike if they were all doing the same thing in a traditional office setting.
  • Reduced costs. Technologies like virtual assistants help organizations save money by reducing labor. For example, an organization could use a virtual assistant to take calls from customers on weekends or at night. This is effective since there is less demand for services during such hours.
  • Improved security posture. Organizations that have implemented OT cybersecurity solutions are better protected against cyberattacks. They have faster response times and improved detection capabilities. This is unlike traditional organizations that do not have these technologies in place.
  • Reduce your risk exposure. A primary benefit is that it can help you reduce your risk exposure. Since the technology is so new, it’s difficult to predict the future of cyberattacks. As a result, many organizations are hesitant to invest in this area until they better understand how it will benefit them.
  • Collaboration. OT cybersecurity can use other protocols to connect devices. This would allow for collaboration between machines. Further, this will provide real-time information on the performance of each machine and process. This can boost the efficiency of productions and manufacturing processes.

OT Cybersecurity Applications

Cybersecurity has become a significant concern for organizations worldwide in the past decade. The threats to businesses range from cyberattacks on their infrastructure to intellectual property theft. 

Here are some areas where OT cybersecurity applies:

1. Healthcare

Healthcare organizations are at risk of cyberattacks, and this is due to the following:

  • The rise of digital health records
  • The increasing use of mobile devices to manage patient care 
  • The growing number of connected devices in hospitals and homes 

Healthcare organizations and professionals are prime targets for hackers. This is because they have access to many systems, medical records, and other sensitive information. Hackers could use this information to breach patient records or even cause harm. 

Healthcare organizations have been adopting new technologies. These security measures are for protecting their patients’ records from hackers.

2. Retail

Retailers are constantly under attack by hackers looking to steal customer information. These hackers even infiltrate their systems and steal money or other valuable items. 

Many retailers have implemented security measures such as two-factor authentication (2FA). This helps protect customers’ accounts from being hacked. But this alone isn’t enough to keep customers safe from malicious actors. 

Your company should also implement a variety of other security measures. These should deter hackers from attempting to gain access to your network. Thus, they can’t steal sensitive information from your company’s servers.

3. Energy

Energy utilities have been experiencing cyber attacks against their networks over the past years. This is partly because many energy companies store sensitive information in electronic databases. These can easily be accessed by hackers who gain access to these systems. 

Cybersecurity is a critical part of energy production and transmission. From the design stage to manufacturing, electrical grid operators must be able to detect cyber threats. They should respond quickly to stop them from disrupting operations.

4. Transportation

Transportation systems are very complex, and cybersecurity threats can come from different sources. OT cybersecurity is required for any transportation system that uses OT. This includes commercial vehicles, trains, passenger vehicles, and aircraft.

A transportation system consists of many different parts:

  • The vehicle itself (engine, drive train)
  • The internet connection to it (mobile apps)
  • The software running on it (an operating system)
  • The infrastructure around it (power lines, gas stations)

Cybersecurity threats can come from all these areas. For example, cybercriminals could hack into a vehicle’s computer system using malware. They can infiltrate the engine control module itself.

Transportation security is a shared responsibility between several entities. These include the federal government, states, local governments, and commercial entities. Security involves protecting transportation systems from cyberattacks and securing critical infrastructure sectors. 

It’s Time to Invest In Cybersecurity

Undoubtedly, an OT cybersecurity system can significantly benefit a company and its resources. The question is, what type of system works best for your company? Most companies using OT cybersecurity have learned what works for them. 

It’s essential to keep that in mind when you’re shopping around for a system. You don’t want to do something that will backfire down the road.

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