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Nine out of ten critical infrastructure environments damaged by a cyber-attack in the last two years
Published:  05 April, 2019

Tenable, Inc., a cyber exposure company, recently released the ‘Cybersecurity in Operational Technology: 7 Insights You Need to Know’ report, an independent study by the Ponemon Institute.

The study identifies the true extent of cyberattacks experienced by critical infrastructure operators — professionals in industries using industrial control systems (ICS) and operational technology (OT). It found that 90% of respondents stated their environments had been damaged by at least one cyberattack over the past two years, with 62% experiencing two or more attacks.

Key highlights from the study include:

● Insufficient visibility into the attack surface: 80% of respondents cited lack of visibility into the attack surface, knowing what systems are part of their IT environments, as the number one issue in their inability to prevent business-impacting cyberattacks.

● Inadequate Staffing and Manual Processes Limit Vulnerability Management: Lack of personnel and a reliance on manual processes were cited by 61% and 55% of respondents respectively as major obstacles in their ability to assess and remediate vulnerabilities.

● C-Suite Buy-In Is Key: 70% of respondents view increasing communication with executives and board members as one of their governance priorities for 2019.

The convergence of IT and OT is a reality in today’s digital era. But this convergence has connected once-isolated OT systems to a variety of attack paths. This Ponemon study, based entirely on the self-reported experiences and observations of ICS and OT experts themselves, confirms that the threats to critical infrastructure are real, severe and ongoing.

“OT professionals have spoken — the people who manage critical systems such as manufacturing plants and transportation almost unanimously state that they are fighting-off cyberattacks on a regular basis,” said Eitan Goldstein, senior director of strategic initiatives, Tenable. “Organisations need visibility into their converged IT/OT environments to not only identify where vulnerabilities exist but also prioritize which to remediate first. The converged IT/OT cyber problem is one that cybersecurity and Critical Infrastructure teams must face together.”