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  • Writer's pictureSharon Caro

Survey: Nearly 83% of CISOs in OT infrastructures are to face cyber-attacks on their organizations

Critical Infrastructure systems, including power generation systems, water treatment, electricity production, and other platforms, are observing an increase in cyber attacks. It all depends on a country's natural interest or desire for political dominance.

As the world is moving towards digitalization, it’s pretty pertinent that cyber-attacks are normal in cyber warfare. According to recent research, Chief Information Officers (CIOs) and Chief Information Security Officers (CISOs) are showing more interest in investing in more feasible areas. Therefore, it can be assumed that people who do not know Operational Technology (OT) are unable to find the right resources for allocation.

The research highlights that nearly 83% of organizations have faced cyber attacks and breaches in their OT in the last 36 months! Simultaneously, almost 73% of CIOs and CISOs are confident about their defense mechanism against cyber attacks. They believe their organization won’t face any cyber attacks this year or the following year.

The contradiction arises as organizations depend more on apathy which is believed to be a more harmful risk for protecting critical infrastructures. Budget, knowledge, or resources make the real difference.

A decade behind

Nearly a decade ago, universal external communications were less critical for industrial and manufacturing facilities or operational organizations.

To know why the security status of IT environments lags, study the lack of expertise of OT devices in communication protocols, connectivity, and network.

The survey also finds that “Compliance with regulations and requirements” is among the top concerns of decision-makers in OT security. However, regulatory compliance standards are not plentiful to counter security threats and incidents. Furthermore, compliance managers know that compliance doesn’t equate to security in any way.

This is an accessible insight into the ability, responsibility, and knowledge that executives might know. However, they’re forced to modify their responses to limited resources.

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Hike in Critical Infrastructure Attacks

The report highlights that there has been a severe increase in cyber attacks against OT systems and critical infrastructure. However, there is a little that has changed.

The most surprising and interesting finding is that most security members say they’re not vulnerable, but they were harmed in the past.

Organizations still believe that their infrastructure is secure, but facts and figures say something else. All of this hints back to inadequate security measures of OT.

Where does denial end and indifference start?

The answer to this question is quite complex as it is pretty attached to the lack of expertise in OT security. Cyber skills in OT need to be improved as the gap seems overwhelming and massive. For instance, a municipal water plant recruits three IT people responsible for looking after different operations in organizations. It means they lack essential skills and in-depth knowledge to secure the entire OT network.

The suppliers of different water systems often neglect the security risks when they’re tasked to operate the system that requires remote access. The main reason behind the frequent repetition of these mistakes is the significant lack of resources to recruit highly skilled cyber security personnel.

Both the management and engineering levels lack the required infrastructure security skills. Nowadays, CISOs can consult their partners and security firms to seek advice on general security purposes for the organization. OT managers usually lack resources because of the high cost. Therefore, with low resources and knowledge, organizations rely on familiar and old methods such as adhering to regulations. Furthermore, organizations don’t focus on managing risks nor on recovery plans to be integrated with hands-on security management practices.

Salvador Technologies is one of the best cyber security services with hands-on experience in critical infrastructure attacks. Our backup and recovery software enables CISOs and CIOs to take adequate measures against cyber-attacks and reduce system downtime.

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No or Little Knowledge of OT Environment:

Generally, security executives are more confident in areas that are easy to measure. Furthermore, CISOs, tasked with developing security strategies, don’t know the OT environment. Therefore, they won’t be able to locate necessary resources for the OT environment. Moreover, the OT team prioritizes production services rather than focusing on security risks, which are more important. On the other hand, IT managers are determined to protect organizational data, and this is done by constantly updating and repairing the entire network.

The problem is that the repair and update process may result in production downtime. In a nutshell, it can be said that IT managers know risks, but they prioritize production.

This means that when there are vulnerabilities that need to be fixed without sufficient expertise, resources, and maintenance, the cost of crucial security breaches may rise.

Keeping in view all this, Salvador Technologies has been offering data backup and recovery services to organizations relying on the OT environment. Our reliable cyber recovery solutions are available to be required anytime.

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