Why CISOs should merge IT, OT and IoT networks for effective defence

As CISOs try to grapple with their finding the best way to hone their architectures they should forget the IT network may not be the only one needing defending.

Increasingly organizations have an Internet of Things (IoT) network, comprised of HVAC and other systems, and many have an  operational/industrial technology (OT) network, common in utilities and manufacturing, as well. The problem,  Adi Dar, CEO of Cyberbit, pointed out in an interview this week, its usually IT leader see these networks as separate.

That creates security risks because the attack surface is broadening. Dar notes the San Francisco Municipal Transport Agency was hobbled last year by an attack that knocked out desktop terminals needed for selling tickets, the Stuxnet virus attack on Iranian centrifuges are examples of combined IT/OT attacks, and the Dyn botnet.

“The new cyber attack is multi-vectored,” Dar is quoted as saying, “or as we like to call it, full stack: IT is often the best way in, and OT/IoT is where attackers can do damage.”

To build an effective strategy CISOs need a handle on the entire body of connected devices across the enterprise, he argues. Then critical areas of the networks, such as their intersection points, can be discovered.

To protect a merged network visibility is key. Dar talks of dashboards that condense all IT, OT and IoT data into a single screen to improve situational awareness.

Has your organization looked at IT security this way? If not, it’s time you did.

Read the full interview here


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Howard Solomon
Howard Solomon
Currently a freelance writer, I'm the former editor of ITWorldCanada.com and Computing Canada. An IT journalist since 1997, I've written for several of ITWC's sister publications including ITBusiness.ca and Computer Dealer News. Before that I was a staff reporter at the Calgary Herald and the Brampton (Ont.) Daily Times. I can be reached at hsolomon [@] soloreporter.com

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