In many ways, today’s digital transformation initiatives represent a considerable change in how enterprises do business. Some might even categorize the digital shift as a revolution, on par with major industrial shifts in the past.
Let’s pause for a quick history lesson.
- The First Industrial Revolution started around 1760, and it was powered by a significant invention: the steam engine.
- The Second Industrial Revolution came roughly one century later and was characterized by the beginning of factory-based manufacturing and mass production.
- The inventions of the semiconductor, the personal computer, and the internet marked the Third Industrial Revolution in the 1960s, often referred to as the “computer revolution.”
Over the following decades, more companies began to computerize business systems and functions that were not automated or connected before. This is often referred to as the “digital revolution.” But despite these changes, many of the manufacturing processes developed during the Second Industrial Revolution remained “disconnected.” Now, those industrial systems are being connected and digitized with Internet of Things (IoT) devices, leading to a convergence of information technology (IT) and operational technology (OT) networks, the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
Risks of the “connected” IT and OT networks
With the latest industrial revolution comes a new set of connected challenges. Industrial and manufacturing organizations are particularly vulnerable to cyberattacks for a variety of reasons. In an environment where physical systems are increasingly connected, they are more exposed to the outside world. When IT and OT systems converge, the risk of exposure grows even more. There is no longer a debate: The convergence of IT and OT is happening, and it’s happening quickly. Skybox has witnessed this convergence both from studying history and noticing current trends in the marketplace.
Some will say that OT networks are different, with unique protocols, exclusive hardware, and extraordinary challenges that separate them from garden-variety IT. But as we’ve already seen, we can no longer think of OT risk separately from IT risk and the entire enterprise because of interconnected systems and shared exposure risks. The latest industrial revolution is already upon us, and it connects critical infrastructure, technology, and people in ways that magnify the impacts of a potential cyberattack. Consider these real risks, observed by the Skybox research lab:
- 300% more industrial IoT vulnerabilities than before
- 38% of ICS computers in the oil and gas industry fell victim to cyberattacks
- 25% of reported ransomware attacks struck manufacturing companies
How can Skybox help improve OT cybersecurity?
Keeping your IT and OT networks safe from cyberattacks is challenging, but it doesn’t have to be an impossible task. With the Skybox platform, you can gain holistic visibility and control of your IT and OT networks to take proactive steps to improve your security posture, reduce your exposure, and minimize the risk of cyberattacks.
How is this possible? The Skybox platform uniquely fills in the blind spots of unscannable network devices and zones through its extensive level of passive integrations. Network access and connectivity issues are continuously analyzed to offer a complete picture of your combined IT and OT environments. Skybox can pinpoint exposed vulnerabilities unprotected by security controls by simulating access from a threat origin to vulnerable assets. Skybox normalizes this collected vulnerability data, configuration details, and integrated scan intelligence into a central repository, enabling faster decision-making and more effective security.
With the Skybox platform, you can comply with security regulations and industry frameworks more quickly and effectively. On-demand audits take only a few minutes instead of hours or days. This helps to streamline your regulatory compliance initiatives, including the Purdue Model, PCI, FISMA, NIST, Common Criteria, GDPR, and others.
What’s new in the Skybox platform?
With the 11.6 release, Skybox extends its capabilities for OT networks with integrations with Nozomi Networks and Siemens (RuggedCom ROX1 & ROX2). In addition, Skybox maintains critical partnerships across the industry to provide customers with visibility into their OT environments, including Claroty, Forescout, and Microsoft (CyberX and Defender for Endpoint). The latest additions to this stable will enable our customers to reduce their attack surface risks and gain better cyber mitigation strategies across their OT networks.
These latest updates improve Skybox capabilities and provide the most complete and accurate data to calculate OT risk and eliminate exposures. As a result, Skybox gives critical infrastructure and manufacturing organizations the assurance they need to keep their whole enterprises operating effectively.