7 Best OT Security Practices From Top-Tier Organizations

Fortinet's 2022 State of Operational Technology and Cybersecurity Report found that organizations are not moving fast enough to fully protect their OT assets. Here are 7 of the best OT security practices you can implement for your clients.

  • January 30, 2023 | Author: Allison Bergamo
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According to Fortinet's 2022 State of Operational Technology and Cybersecurity Report, Operational Technology (OT) security is steadily rising to the top of security leaders’ priorities. As organizations embrace digital transformation, they are connecting more OT systems to the internet, resulting in more advanced IP-based threats. Recent geopolitical events have placed another spotlight on OT security.

The report also notes that many industries are scrambling to provide security for increasingly vulnerable OT systems. Research for Fortinet by Westlands Advisory finds that investment in IT/OT and OT-specific security technologies totaled $6.9 billion for all of 2022 with a projected compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 21 percent for OT security and 16 percent for OT/IT cybersecurity between now and 2027.

Despite these numbers, the report states that organizations are not moving fast enough to fully protect their OT assets. So, if your clients fall in this camp, feel free to copy some of these best OT security practices from top-tier organizations.

Practice #1 - Top-tier organizations are 17 percent more likely to have all their OT activities centrally visible to cybersecurity operations.

Centralized, end-to-end visibility of all OT activities is key to ensuring their security.

Practice #2 - 77 percent of them more likely to have security vulnerability response time as one of their top three success metrics.

The organizations with the best outcomes are nearly three times as likely to have this measurement as an integral metric in their performance reviews.

Practice #3 - They are 37 percent more likely to have network access control technology in place.

These organizations limit the people who need access to OT systems, sometimes based on a narrow subset of job titles. 

Practice #4 - Top-tier organizations are 48 percent more likely to report security compromises to senior or executive leadership.

Organizations that keep top leaders apprised of security compromises tend to have fewer of them.

Practice #5 - They are 32 percent more likely to have their SOC monitor and track OT security.

OT leaders who have avoided intrusions are more likely to have entrusted OT security to Security Operations Centers (SOCs) that have deep experience and expertise in addressing cyberthreats.

Practice #6 - Top-tier organizations are 44 percent more likely to track and report intrusions detected and remediated.

Organizations that avoided intrusions are more likely to routinely report them when they do occur.

Practice #7 - They are also “infinitely” more likely to use just one vendor for their IP-enabled OT devices.

Avoiding complexity in networking and systems is a good way to reduce the attack surface and improve the security posture.

Get the details behind these best practices as well as insights from more than 500 global OT professionals. Download your copy of Fortinet's 2022 State of Operational Technology and Cybersecurity Report.




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