1 min

Industrial cybersecurity: the need for IT/OT convergence

In an interview with Alliancy published on August 29, 2023, Jean-François Siquet, OT product manager at Air Liquide, reviewed the securing of OT processes required by digitalization. He recognizes that “the first challenge is to convince industrialists that cyberattacks can happen to anyone.” Taking OT cybersecurity seriously and allocating sufficient funds are prerequisites.

Beyond this, “cross-functionality” is key, according to Jean-François Siquet. “Oftentimes, manufacturers see OT and IT universes as completely separate,” he says. Yet this concept of separation “no longer applies” in a digitalized and OT-automated environment.

Faced with a growing threat, OT and IT convergence must not only be technical but also human. “At Air Liquide, we are in the process of cross-integrating teams, and this changes everything for how we see security. This is how compliance is achieved and how we move forward,” summarizes Jean-François Siquet.

As far as the types of threats manufacturers face, he notes an increase in USB key attacks, which require thorough decontamination of mobile devices. OT remains a specific target for cyberattacks aiming for a range of sabotages. However, IT-focused attacks can also “jump onto OT” opportunistically, points out Jean-François Siquet. To avoid contamination, the manufacturer must thoroughly understand the bridges between IT and OT.

Cyber industrial safety - September 06, 2023
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