Enterprises must close the IT/OT Security gap

This week, we saw the catastrophic impact of ransomware on the Colonial Pipeline. A timely reminder that as we connect more devices and embed digital technologies across our businesses, our surface attack area expands dramatically.

Securing the sprawl is no easy task. And while enterprises continue to invest significantly in securing their core - from servers and cloud through to end-user devices; a lot of work remains in securing operational environments and technologies. This includes areas that are increasingly packed with connected devices such as sensors that are vulnerable to attack.

Recent Teknowlogy research shines a light on some of the movements and trends developing as leaders grapple with securing an increasingly connected world.

The good news is enterprises recognize the importance of cybersecurity now more than ever - fully, 69% believe the topic is an integral part of their IT agenda. And 43% expect to spend more despite coming under increasing pressure to cut costs. Important trends are pushing this spending higher - for many enterprises, there is a pressing need to lock down environments as they face increased hacking attempts or witness the impact they have on their customers and partners. But one of the most commonly cited drivers is the growing challenge of securing IoT and OT environments. On average, 39% of enterprises believe the deployment of cloud, IoT, Industry 4.0, and other digital solutions is a significant reason for initiating security measures within their organization. Unsurprisingly, the manufacturing industry exceeds the average - with 45% citing their growing digital environment as a reason for doubling down on security.

Through this data, we see a growing emphasis from enterprises to close the gap between their OT environments and their IT core. The challenge, however, will be selecting the right solutions and services in a complex and fragmented ecosystem. Today, the market consists of firms that focus on very specific elements of cybersecurity - so enterprises must look towards the major IT Services giants to help build coherent and holistic cybersecurity offering that continues to secure the core, while extending protection to the expanding connected perimeter of the modern enterprise.

There will be a great many board rooms across the globe packed with C-Suite executives watching the Colonial Pipeline incident - and initiating activities that will ensure they aren't the next firm to make the headlines. The challenge now is to embrace the utopian visions of a connected enterprise, while keeping security front and centre to stop the vision from slipping into a dystopian reality.