Late in 2022 IDC predicted that by 2025, 50% of organizations will increase the use of IoT and OT cybersecurity solutions at the edge, cutting OT cybersecurity breaches in half.
Operational Technology (OT) has been evolving since the industrial age began to the extent that some of the most advanced factories today operate with minimal human intervention, allowing the robotic technologies to undertake most, if not all, the manufacturing process. In critical industries such as power generation and distribution, and water treatment and distribution OT has revolutionized how we can access these services with great ease.
Meanwhile the rise of Information Technology (IT) was driven by a need to do business faster, more effectively, at greater scale and with fewer errors and, for the most part, IT has delivered to these requirements.
Today, due to the demands of a Digital First strategy and Industry 4.0, the need to integrate IT and OT more deeply has become a business strategy, however security is today the greatest concern and challenge to this IT/OT integration effort. Until recently the differences between what IT security could address and what OT integration required meant that the ability to deeply integrate these two, seemingly complementary technologies, was considered too much of a risk to the OT side of things and was often shelved as a project for a later date.
That later date has now arrived! Digital First demands the integration of OT and IT, and the uprising of a new batch of OT-specific malware threats means that whilst the security issue has not gone away, the strategy and approach to dealing with this has changed and, along with the business imperative, the time to act is now.
IDC has been studying this situation for several years and is now providing guidance on why organizations need to accelerate this IT/OT convergence, what are the consideration that need to be taken to secure OT and IT integration.