The Shrinking Separation of IT and OT in Security

Holistic security to safeguard manufacturing organizations from cyberattacks

night manufacturing

It wasn't long ago that manufacturers followed a straight-forward approach to cybersecurity: Focus on the information technology (IT) environment and treat the operational technology OT environment differently — if that environment even has monitoring in the first place.

Today, the task of securing manufacturing environments is evolving. The divide between IT and OT layers is decreasing. Gartner reports that by 2025, 70% of asset-intensive organizations will have converged their security functions across both enterprise and operational environments1.

As the divide between IT and OT diminishes, the attack surface increases. This broader attack surface coincides with an increase in threats targeting manufacturers. Gartner finds manufacturing is the most targeted industry for cyberattacks, making up 23.2% of all attacks2. Manufacturers security teams are already short staffed. Many don't have a 24/7 security operations center (SOC) and struggle to monitor their IT environments. Adding OT monitoring just compounds the problem.

Removing the Divide Between IT and OT Security Monitoring

Organizations have reached a critical intersection in their security evolution: Keep OT assets safe from expanding threats while ensuring production facilities stay up and running. Accomplishing this requires a delicate balance of strong security that does not impact the typically passive technology found in OT environments.

It is crucial for organizations to tightly align their IT and OT security strategy:

  1. Ensuring business continuity: Organizations who rely heavily on IT and OT systems to operate efficiently. Cyberattacks can disrupt the company's operations, resulting in production downtime, lost revenue, and damaged reputation. A cyberattack on the OT environment can also cause physical damage to equipment or even injure employees.
  2. Protecting sensitive data: Organizations store a vast amount of confidential data, including proprietary designs, intellectual property, financial records, and personal information of their employees and customers. Cyberattacks can cause significant data breaches, leading to data theft or data loss, which can have severe consequences for the organization's reputation, brand, and finances.
  3. Compliance with regulations: Organizations must comply with various regulations and standards related to cybersecurity. Failure to comply with these regulations can result in hefty fines, legal action, and reputational damage.
  4. Protecting the supply chain: Organizations are an essential part of the global supply chain, and a cybersecurity breach can spread to other parts of the supply chain, affecting suppliers, partners, and customers.
  5. Unifying SOC experience: Most organizations do not have a robust SOC to provide 24/7 threat monitoring and detection. Just monitoring the IT space is challenging enough, not to mention the need to monitor for and detect threats in the OT environment.

Single View to Monitor IT and OT Environments

Secureworks understands these challenges and is proud to introduce a new holistic managed detection and response (MDR) solution specifically for their IT and OT security monitoring strategy: Secureworks® Taegis™ ManagedXDR for OT.

Taegis ManagedXDR for OT brings together the best of Taegis technology and our vast security expertise and intelligence into a holistic managed detection and response solution for manufacturing organizations, delivering threat monitoring, detection, investigation, and collaborative response to safeguard IT and OT environments. Taegis processes more than 640 billion events daily across more than 2,000 customers and integrates feeds from hundreds of leading technologies — including OT tools from Dragos, SCADAfence, and Claroty — to deliver superior detection and unmatched response via an open platform. Security analysts staff our SOC 24/7, and OT experts help investigate and provide remediation guidance for threats targeting operational assets.

Taegis ManagedXDR for OT delivers the security expertise, plus the advanced analytics, applied threat intelligence, customized workflows, and proactive services organizations need to secure not just IT, but also OT environments. Want to learn more? We're here to help. Check out the Solution Brief to learn more about how organizations are best against cyber threats.


1 Gartner Market Guide for OT, August 2022
2 Gartner Product Leaders Insight, March 2022

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