Newsweek Vantage recently published an independent report on cyber risks to critical infrastructure — and the International Society of Automation (ISA) served as its expert partner.
Titled “Weathering the Perfect Storm: Securing the Cyber-Physical Systems of Critical Infrastructure,” the report surveyed 415 executives at critical infrastructure organizations to learn whether they are taking a holistic approach to security for operations technology (OT) and information technology (IT). Among other takeaways, the survey found that a holistic approach is a priority for most — and that more than a third of respondents said a cyber breach was the motivating factor.
Other key findings from the report include:
- IT and OT still don’t play well together at many organizations, despite years of effort. Nearly a third of respondents said the primary obstacle is cultural — in other words, that employees are resistant to change.
- Nearly every executive surveyed said their organization had experienced a security breach within the last year. Almost two-thirds said IT systems were the source of vulnerability leading to at least one of their incidents. A third also attributed their vulnerability to a lack of IT/OT integration, and a quarter added that a lack of secure physical access controls contributed to system vulnerabilities as well.
- Most organizations are at least partway along the path to IT/OT convergence. 68 percent of respondents said their organizations have integrated some of their OT, IT, and physical systems, and are still working on others. Far fewer — 20 percent — have already integrated everything, and fewer still — only 11 percent — have not integrated anything.
ISA helped the Newsweek staff develop the concept, research the topic, create and adapt the survey, and analyze the results.
Eric Cosman, a consulting engineer and the 2020 ISA president, as well as Steve Mustard, an independent consultant and the incoming 2021 ISA president, contributed to the report as subject-matter experts.
The full report is available for download from Newsweek Vantage.
Read more stories like this on the official ISA Interchange blog at https://blog.isa.org/