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Why a New Approach to Machine Security is Crucial


Machines of today are more connected than ever, which requires a new approach to security. Namely, converging two departments that have historically been separate entities, IT and OT. Nivedita Ojha discusses the relationship between IT & OT and why it is so important the two work together to protect machines and prevent cyber attacks. 


FORT asks Nivedita Ojha about the relationship between Information Technology (IT) & Operational Technology (OT.) Here is what she has to say:

You want to make sure all of the data is secure and safe. Because remember, the moment somebody breaches the data or hacks into the data, it could have major ramifications.

So previously, IT and OT were two separate networks. OT was all about the operational technology, and IT was all the IT infrastructure for the enterprise.

However, over the years, you are seeing a lot of convergence happening.

And why is that happening? Because machines are going live.

They connect to the cloud. They are also talking to Human Machine Interfaces (or HMIs) and these HMIs then connect directly through the OT network into the IT world.

The moment all this data from the machine starts going through these HMIs and then into the cloud and into the enterprise network, the convergence starts happening. And because of that convergence, it becomes important for us to understand that now our OT network, which was kind of like an air gap: they were separate, they had their own security. Now that security is merging.

The moment devices and applications start communicating with each other across two different realms, you need to make sure both of these realms are secure by themselves, as well as secure in its entirety.

There's a massive potential there for injury, downtime, and damages.

You want to make sure all of the data is secure and safe because remember, the moment somebody breaches the data, hacks into the data, it could have major ramifications. So therefore it becomes super important for a company to make sure that both IT and OT networks are managed well and secured well so that there is no leak between these two networks.

Looking to learn more about the convergence of IT & OT, check out this post featuring another security expert, Todd Dekkinga.