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Global Survey by Fortinet Reveals Critical OT Security Challenges

Fortinet

Fortinet, a global leader in broad, integrated cybersecurity solutions, released its 2022 State of Operational Technology and Cybersecurity Report. Industrial control environments remain a target for cyber attackers.

Fortinet

93% (Philippines: 94%) of OT firms have witnessed an intrusion in the past 12 months. However, the survey found extensive weaknesses in industrial security and chances for improvement.

Here are the Key findings of Fortinet for the 2022 State of Operational Technology

OT activities lack centralized visibility, increasing security risks. Only 13% of respondents have centralized OT visibility, according to Fortinet. 52% of companies can track OT activities from the SOC (SOC). 97% of organizations consider OT a moderate or serious security concern. Lack of centralized visibility increases OT security threats and weakens security posture, according to the paper.

OT security intrusions significantly impact organizations’ productivity and their bottom line. The Fortinet report indicated that 93% (Philippines: 94%) of OT firms had an intrusion in the past year. Malware, phishing email, and hackers were the top 3 intrusions in the Philippines. As a result of these incursions, approximately 50% (Philippines: 66%) of firms had a productivity-impacting operation interruption, with 90% requiring hours or more to restore service. 85% of Philippines OT organizations took hours or longer to restore to service, while 4% took weeks. A third of global respondents observed revenue, data loss, compliance, and brand-value damaged by security incursions.

Ownership of OT security is not consistent across organizations. According to the Fortinet research, OT security management is primarily a director or manager function, from Plant Operations Director to Manufacturing Operations Manager. 15% of global survey respondents said their CISO handles OT security. In the Philippines, CEOs are getting more involved in influencing cyber security because it is becoming a bigger issue in management teams.

Best Practices to Overcome OT Security Challenges
Fortinet's 2022 State of Operational Technology and Cybersecurity Report suggested solutions to secure OT systems. Organizations can address their OT security challenge by doing the following:

Establish Zero Trust Access to prevent breaches. Zero Trust Access solutions ensure that users, devices, and apps without necessary credentials and authorization cannot access vital assets. Zero Trust Access solutions help protect OT from internal and external threats.

Implementing solutions that provide centralized visibility of OT activities. Centralized, end-to-end visibility of OT activities helps firms improve security. According to Fortinet's analysis, top-tier enterprises – the 6% of respondents with no intrusions in the past year – are three times more likely to have centralized visibility.

Consolidating security tools and vendors to integrate across environments. Organizations should integrate OT and IT solutions from fewer providers to reduce complexity and improve device visibility. Integrated security solutions lower businesses' attack surface and improve security.

Deploying network access control (NAC) technology. Organizations that avoided intrusions in the past year were more likely to have a NAC, guaranteeing only authorized users can access crucial digital asset-securing systems.

Fortinet

Securing OT Environments with the Fortinet Security Fabric
Fortinet protects OT environments in energy, defense, industrial, food, and transportation for more than a decade. By incorporating security into complex infrastructure with Fortinet Security Fabric, enterprises can safeguard and comply with OT environment without disruption. Industrial enterprises receive fast, automated responses to every attack vector with full integration and shared threat intelligence. Fortinet's Security Fabric spans the unified IT-OT network to close OT security gaps, provide full visibility, and simplify management.

Organizations do not have full visibility into OT activities. Many companies lack OT security visibility. Cybersecurity operations show the proportion of activity. In the Philippines: 88% of OT organizations lack central visibility.

OT security is gradually improving, but security gaps still exist in many organizations. Only 21% of global firms surveyed have reached level 4, which includes orchestration and management. Latin America and APAC have more level 4 respondents than other regions. The survey indicated that most firms utilize two to eight vendors for industrial devices and operate 100 to 10,000 devices, adding complexity.

OT Security is a Corporate-Level Concern
As OT systems become targets for cybercriminals, C-level leaders realize the significance of safeguarding these environments to prevent risk. Industrial systems are a danger factor because they were formerly air-gapped from IT and business networks, but now they're being interconnected. As industrial systems become more internet-connected and accessible from anywhere, firms' attack surface grows.

Securing OT Environments with the Fortinet Security Fabric
Fortinet protects OT environments in energy, defense, industrial, food, and transportation for more than a decade. By incorporating security into complex infrastructure with Fortinet Security Fabric, enterprises can safeguard and comply with OT environment without disruption. Industrial enterprises receive fast, automated responses to every attack vector with full integration and shared threat intelligence. Fortinet's Security Fabric spans the unified IT-OT network to close OT security gaps, provide full visibility, and simplify management.

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