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Industry News

Cyber Security & Standards

State of Industrial Cyber Security 2019

December 16, 2019
Robert Bergman

Applied Risk, a Netherlands-based engineering firm specializing in cyber security for operational technology, has developed a report on The State of Industrial Cyber Security 2019. It analyzes the trends, risks and ICS vulnerabilities and makes recommendations for safeguarding critical infrastructure. The report stresses the need for managers of OT environments to understand the critical importance of cyber security to their work and the potential impact on their business.


“Industrial automation processes are being made more efficient thanks to the collection and analysis of data from IIoT devices. Automation is moving beyond the simple mechanization of repetitive tasks and into the realm of AI-led decision-making. In the world of operational technology (OT), processes ruled by Industrial Control Systems (ICS) were traditionally designed with a strong emphasis on physical security and functional safety, but with little regard to the dangers of the online world. By virtue of not being connected, they were protected from malware and other destructive attacks distributed via networks and the Internet. Our research shows that those who are responsible for the cyber security of OT are waking up to the challenges that digitalization brings,” the report authors write.


Their findings conclude that the basics of cyber security are still not being practiced regularly and that new cyber security risks are emerging as growing numbers of untested technologies are continuously being integrated within critical infrastructures. The 27-page report closes with the recommendations for asset owners, with their top two recommendations relating to the need for intrinsic security:


  • The aim should be to be “secure by design,” which means ensuring that the cyber security of any system is a priority consideration right from the start of the procurement and design process and through to end-of-life considerations.
  • It is essential that asset owners are more critical of vendors – even well-established ones – to ensure that their products and processes meet their own demanding requirements.

“The report is designed to help those who manage Operational Technology (OT) environments to do just that,” says Jalal Bouhdada, founder and CEO of Applied Risk. “The clear message is that cyber security can no longer be treated as an afterthought within industrial environments. Organizations need to put it at the heart of their culture. That way, they can mitigate the risk of operational, financial and reputational damage and safely harness the huge opportunities of digitalization.”


Read the full report here.

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