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Security Study Eyes Interconnected World of IT, OT and IIoT

February 11, 2019

Privacy and information security research firm, Ponemon Institute released the 2019 Safety, Security & Privacy in the Interconnected World of IT, OT and IIoT study in partnership with TUV Rheinland OpenSky. The purpose of this study is to understand the concerns that organizations have for functional safety, cybersecurity and data privacy when there is a convergence of IT, operational technology (OT) and industrial internet of things (IIoT). This first-of-its-kind study, examines how users perceive issues related to managing the triage of cybersecurity, safety and privacy.

“The maturity and security posture of companies will increasingly depend upon the successful convergence of IT and OT control systems,” said Dr. Larry Ponemon, chairman and founder, Ponemon Institute. “Our study is unique in demonstrating the importance of the consolidation and integration of cybersecurity, functional safety and data privacy functions within IT and OT control systems.”

Digitalization around the areas of traditional manufacturing automation systems will continue to gain momentum; therefore the convergence of IT and operational technologies will be a strong point of discussion within enterprises, bringing into focus new platforms and business services that will potentially integrate different areas, from enterprise data at the corporate level, through to field and process-level automation. These platforms will be highly desirable in the pursuit of digitalization, as they would offer better designs, visualizations, ergonomics, and convenience of accessibility. But these platforms bring the challenge of managing privacy while increasing the surface area of exposure to cyber threats – and at the same time maintaining a similar or higher level of safety and reliability around the operations of these interconnected systems.

“Improving overall cybersecurity maturity will play a deterministic role in the success of a digitalization roadmap where the focus is to improve digital services in a complex and interconnected ecosystem. This is an area of focus for us at TUV Rheinland OpenSky and we were pleased to see that the outcome of the study reflects a similar prevalent opinion of cybersecurity practitioners across North America,” stated Urmez Daver, Global Head, Industrial Security at TÜV Rheinland.

The research is an objective study that captures the perceptions and beliefs of respondents, and may not reflect all the concerns that organizations face to manage security, privacy and safety in a world of interconnected systems.

This report examines the following four key areas:

•Achieving effective management of the convergence process

•Overcoming challenges to a successful convergence process

•The relationship between cybersecurity and business objectives

•The convergence of IT, OT and IIoT

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