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In the OT environment time is money, and downtime is death.

Is your OT environment protected? If you own or operate a manufacturing facility more than likely you have an OT environment. You may not realize it, but you do. What is OT? Defined by Gartner OT or operational technology is “Hardware and software that detects or causes a change through the direct monitoring and/or control of physical devices, processes and events in the enterprise.”

Examples of OT

SCADA Software, Industrial Control Software, Machinery / CNC Machines, PLC’s, RTU’s, Remote Industrioal Software, Embedded Computing Software, Systems that monitor and control, PLM Systems, MES Systems, Safety Automation Systems, Building Management Systems

This list is ever growing and certainly not all inclusive. Why is it important? Well as we move closer to the age where all systems tie into the internet we must worry about cyber-attacks. The most prevalent cyber attack out there in the manufacturing environment is Ransomware. Why are they targeting manufacturing because they understand that production is money. If the malicious attack is successful, they can halt production and keep it you locked out for a long period of time. How much money will you lose every day your production is down 10K, 50K, 250K? How many days can your business sustain that loss of production? 1 week? 2 weeks? By targeting manufacturing companies cyber criminals realize they can get paid without stealing anything. They don’t need or want your product; they just want the money. More times than not companies end up paying the ransom just to get their systems back online.

What are you doing to protect yourself? DO you have a team that is scanning your assets? Do you have a team that is monitoring your network? Do you have a team that handles endpoint protection? No, you probably don’t. This is all stuff that falls more into the IT world than OT. All it takes is one affected system on the network, to make it vulnerable. Ransomware can often lay dormant for up to 6 months or more before being detected. Protecting OT systems is going to be the difference between getting hit with a 2-million-dollar ransom and not. There are a million tools out there that can help with securing your systems. Talk with a cyber pro, get your systems assessed, updated, and protected. If time is money, then downtime is death. Don’t let your unwillingness to spend your money on cyber security protection cost you your business. I have seen countless reports of business who talk about the high cost of securing their lifeline, the process that makes their business operate. It doesn’t make sense. Spend the money and get your systems protected. That 10-25K you would have spent getting your systems protected is going to sound great when you are staring down the barrel of 2.5 million is lost revenue and being forced to layoff employees.

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