Industry Experts Speak on Stress Testing the New Normal of IT-OT Relationships

In recent months, the convergence of IT and OT networks has accelerated dramatically, with many enterprises fast-tracking their cloud migration to accommodate remote work amid the current global pandemic. This rapid transition has imposed new day-to-day challenges concerning the relationship between IT and OT.

Earlier this month, Admiral (Ret.) Michael S. Rogers, a Senior Advisor to Claroty, moderated a session with Galina Antova, Co-founder and Chief Business Development Officer at Clartoy, and Marc Gaffan, CEO of Hysolate, to talk about digital transformation strategies and how IT-OT relationships are evolving in response. You can watch a replay here.

Admiral Rogers framed the session with opening remarks about how COVID-19 has served as a catalyst for trends we’ve already seen and anticipated, specifically digitalization and remote work. In a very short period of time – in some cases within 24 to 48 hours – our IT and OT frameworks have pivoted to support a huge increase in remote workers on a global scale. However, in pivoting we have accepted greater risk. The attack surface has exploded and there is less redundancy and resiliency which have created opportunities for attackers.

At the same time, the situation has also created opportunity. IT and OT teams have enjoyed more visibility as they have demonstrated to company leadership their ability to create a digital backbone that has enabled the organization to continue to function even while the business changes its model to be more geographically dispersed. As he shared in a previous blog, Admiral Rogers urged attendees to take advantage of the window of opportunity and the credibility they have built with the organization, to garner support for the investments needed to position their organizations for success in a post-COVID environment.

Another trend is the convergence of IT and OT. Historically these networks have been dispersed but now they are coming together at an accelerated pace. Galina and Marc talked about the opportunities and challenges convergence is creating, what you can do to prepare yourself for the future and other business implications around compliance, governance, and supply chains.

Hear their insightful answers to questions, including:

  • Has the crisis made collaboration between IT and OT better or worse?
  • What practical steps can we take to improve resiliency across both domains?
  • To what extent is this “new normal” of very distributed architecture and remote work here to stay?
  • What are the key things we should now look to optimize for in our IT/OT convergence?
  • What opportunities has this new reality presented to us?
  • The crisis has certainly tested the resilience of secure remote connectivity to the production OT sites. How are companies that need to run physical manufacturing processing adapting to this?
  • What impact has the crisis had on the acceptance of digital transformation projects and cloud-native solutions?

You can read more on the topic in this SecurityWeek article by Galina and watch a replay of the webinar here.