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How COVID-19 Impacted IT-OT Security

Technology Governance

According to a research from security firm Claroty, most of the industrial enterprises suffer an increase in cyberattacks since the pandemic began. The study, “The Critical Convergence of IT and OT Security in a Global Crisis,” found over 56% of IT (Information Technology) and OT (Operational Technology) professionals at industrial enterprises are struggling to cope with the rise of cybersecurity threats. Around 70% of the respondents stated they noticed that cybercriminals are using new attack tactics to target their organizations. The pharmaceutical, oil and gas, electric utilities, manufacturing, and building management systems are the top five sectors vulnerable to cyberattacks.

Union of IT and OT Networks

The survey revealed security professionals’ attitudes, perceptions, and concerns regarding OT security. Over 72% of respondents stated their jobs have become more challenging. While 67% believe their IT and OT networks have become more interconnected since the pandemic began and 75% expect they will become even more interconnected as a result of it.

Besides, 81% agreed that IT and OT have become more connected and 92% said they will become even more connected because of the pandemic. Around 81% have found that the collaboration between the IT and OT teams within their organization was more challenging during the pandemic.

Cyberattacks on Industrial Control Systems

According to Kaspersky’s report, the industrial control systems (ICS) sectors globally have seen a gradual decline in the number of cyberattacks targeted towards them. However, experts observed that the limited number of attacks have now become more complex, targeted, and exclusive in nature. Nearly 37.8% of computers associated with the ICS sectors suffered a cyberattack in the H1 2020. This increased the tally by a mere 2% in comparison to H2 2019. However, this increase is purely associated with the growing number of cyberattacks on ICS sectors of oil and gas along with systems in the building automation space, which again saw a 2% increase and a total of 39.9% of threats in the first half.