For CISOs tasked with safeguarding industrial networks, understanding IT security professionals’ attitudes, perceptions, and concerns regarding operational technology (OT) is crucial to forging an effective path forward. Our latest research report offers a global perspective on the state of industrial cybersecurity based on an independent survey of 1,000 full-time IT security professionals across the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, France, and Australia.
Our research gleaned insight into the following areas, which are broken down in-depth in our Global State of Industrial Cybersecurity report:
Assessment of current safety of industrial networks
The survey illuminated a notable lack of confidence in the status quo of OT safeguards among IT security professionals in the U.S. relative to other countries. For instance, 51% of industry practitioners in the U.S. believe today’s industrial networks are not properly safeguarded, compared to just 4% of their German counterparts.
Level of concern about cyber attacks on critical infrastructure
Worldwide, a clear majority (74%) of respondents in all regions characterized cyberattacks on critical infrastructure as having greater potential to inflict damage than an enterprise data breach.
Types of attacks that are of primary concern
Respondents identified hacking (43%), ransomware (33%), and sabotage (9%) as the most prevalent attacks against industrial networks. The survey also indicated consensus characterizing electric power (45%) as the sector most vulnerable to cyber attacks on critical infrastructure, followed by the oil and gas (22%), chemical (12%), and transportation (12%) sectors.
Attitudes about training and responsibility for protecting OT networks
Despite a clear consensus (80%) that IT security teams are responsible for protecting an organization’s industrial networks, a significant portion of respondents (25% globally, 34% in the U.S.) had not been trained on the differences between IT and OT networks. 93% of respondents said OT-focused cybersecurity should be concorporrated into the education and training of IT security professionals.
In addition to identifying key areas for CISOs to focus their efforts, our Global State of Industrial Cybersecurity report offers an actionable roadmap for closing the decades-old cybersecurity gap between IT and OT through increased awareness and education, reduced complexity, simplified governance, and IT–OT alignment.