An aerial view of the US Cyber Command joint operations center on the NSA campus. The NSA and CISA have issued a joint alert warning that operational technologies and industrial control systems are at risk to attackers over the internet. Today’s columnist, Ron Brash of Verve Industrial Protection, offers tips for security pros on how to reduce ransomware risk in OT environments. Photo credit: Brendan Smialowski / AFP via Getty Images.

Ransomware attacks are trendy, and so far, have mostly targeted corporate IT environments, but operational technology (OT) has become collateral damage in many recent cases, including Honda, Garmin, and Maersk.

However, that’s not to say OT environments are immune to ransomware because they are not. So far, most of the attacks render commodity systems such as Microsoft Windows unusable unless a ransom gets paid. That’s vastly different than holding an embedded device at virtual gunpoint (although it’s happening for IT devices), the consequences of which would have tremendous implications for manufacturing operations, vast office complexes and medical facilities.

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