The convergence of IT and OT will continue to be an important trend in the coming years, as organizations increasingly rely on technology to support and optimize their operations.
Here are a few developments that may occur in the IT/OT convergence space in 2023:
When security teams were only responsible for IT assets, it was relatively easy to secure devices with basic information like a MAC address, a vulnerability, and a risk score. Today, with more complex environments and the convergence of IT and OT assets, security teams often need varied information to make sense of what is in their environment and the best way to secure it. For example, to secure an IoT thermostat it is not enough to know the MAC address and the corresponding vulnerability, security teams also need to know the owner or the person responsible for patching the device. Over the course of this year, we’ll likely see security teams implementing new tools or creating new integrations with existing systems in an effort to gather OT data and combine it with IT data for more comprehensive analyses.
In a world dominated by IT assets, it was possible to impose specific policies across the entire business. For example, all IT assets can support practices such as multi-factor authentication or being patched within a certain period of time. This is in contrast to OT assets where the majority of devices can not support multi-factor authentication or cannot be patched, or at least tend to need longer periods to be patched when there is a window for planned downtown. Security teams will take stock of their asset management requirements and adapt them to the environment today so that the foundational practices of a security program can apply to both IT and OT assets. Consistent, but flexible standards to accommodate disparate environments will become the new aim.
As IT and OT systems become more integrated, it will continue to be important for IT and OT professionals to work together and communicate effectively to ensure the smooth operation of these systems. It is not enough to have systems that bridge IT and OT data and processes if the people operating those systems function within silos. In 2023 and beyond, individuals, teams, and entire companies will be rethinking how they encourage and ease cross-functional collaboration so that businesses can reap all the benefits of digital transformation.
It is difficult to make specific predictions about the convergence of information technology (IT) and operational technology (OT) in 2023, as it will depend on various factors such as the adoption of new technologies, regulatory changes, and industry trends. However, the convergence of IT and OT will continue to be a significant trend in the coming years, driven by the increasing interconnectivity and integration of digital and physical systems in various industries.
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