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Despite improvements, OT cybersecurity remains a problem

Fortinet’s latest report shows that 75% of manufacturers have suffered at least one intrusion in the last 12 months.

Cyber industrial safety - July 04, 2023

In mid-June 2023, Fortinet unveiled the key findings of the 2023 edition of its “State of Operational Technology and Cybersecurity” report. “Industrial players using IoT technologies have certainly strengthened their security posture, but improvements are still possible and advisable“, summarizes Fortinet’s Head of Marketing, John Maddison.

The report is based on a survey of 570 OT professionals from 14 countries: South Africa, Germany, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Egypt, the United States, France, India, Japan, Mexico, Norway, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom.

The study shows a decline in the number of cyber incidents against IoT systems, which nevertheless remains very high. In 2022, 94% of respondents indicated that their organization had suffered at least one breach within the year. The proportion drops to 75% in 2023, down but still worrying. 49% of companies have suffered at least one phishing attack, and 32% a ransomware attack in the last 12 months.

According to Fortinet, the complexity of IoT systems also remains an issue. Nearly 80% of respondents identified more than 100 IP-enabled IoT devices in their operational environments. This proliferation of tools greatly complicates the integration and application of cyber protection policies. Aging infrastructures further add to the complexity, with 74% of respondents using industrial systems that are between 6 and 10 years old.

On the other hand, IoT managers seem less inclined in 2023 to overestimate their level of cyber protection. Only 13% of them consider their company to be “very mature” in terms of cybersecurity, compared with 21% in 2022.

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