The attack on the Oldsmar, Fla., water treatment plant earlier this year raised the profile of operational technology events and attacks on critical infrastructure. Today’s columnist, Duncan Greatwood of Xage, offers insights into how organizations can adopt a Zero Trust approach to protect against similar attacks. WikimediaCommons Wknight94 CC BY-SA 3.0

At the onset of the pandemic, organizations rushed to deploy remote access to prevent costly interruptions and adapt their workforces to COVID-19. Unfortunately, hasty digital transformations left behind a patchwork of remote access capabilities vulnerable to exploit, particularly in operational technology (OT) environments. As a result, we’ve witnessed a number of attacks on industrial operations, including most recently the attack on the water treatment facility in Oldsmar, Fla.

With the growing convergence of IT and OT, connected operations have become vulnerable to the same threats as their IT counterparts – with remote access creating a bridge for hackers to make their way into OT environments. These system breaches can have widespread reach leading to catastrophic repercussions, and in Oldsmar’s case, they could have even been fatal.

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