Transparency to Enable
Strategic Decisions in OT
Transparency will enable
Transparency is essential for management decisions.
Just like bookkeeping is essential for financial planning, so is keeping an updated OT asset inventory for making strategic decisions on security and procurement in industrial automation.
Why Keep an asset inventory?
Organisations with a complete asset inventory are able to diligently plan for future device replacements in their OT environments.
This kind of asset management will streamline operational transitions, reduce costs in production and remove the need for ad-hoc decisions when confronted with new and existing devices that do not match.
How to gain transparency in your OT environment?
In a complex industrial environment, it is difficult to keep track of the assets’ exact communications within the network.
A simple way of mitigating this is by monitoring the OT environment. This could be done individually with a one-time transparency assessment or by continuously monitoring in real-time.
The one-time transparency assessment of your OT environment will allow you to gain an overview and understanding of all assets as they are today. This will provide you with an asset baseline, including asset type, asset criticality, device information, firmware versions, vulnerabilities and unregulated communication.
Overall, a transparency assessment will provide you with a current asset and security baseline.
Making strategic decisions
A transparency assessment will provide you with information on all assets within your OT environment. With this information, you will be able to manage a procurement and replacement plan for the coming years.
Diligence in this matter will ensure a coherent plan where your production processes will not fall short if your new upgraded SCADA system does not communicate with your old PLCs.
Working with clients, ProjectBinder occasionally encounters organisations caught off guard because an old PLC is no longer fit for the job. These incidents cause substantial downtime and troubleshooting and will affect revenue.
Imagine if you could mitigate these incidents simply by having a plan in place with a full overview of your OT assets.
Security in critical infrastructure
How do you know if your OT environment is secure if you don’t know how many assets you have, the current firmware installation, asset configuration and its communication with other assets in your networks?
A transparency assessment will provide you with an overview of your assets and insight into how they operate.
This kind of detailed information can be used for risk analysis and compliance purposes.
Most importantly, the transparency assessment will give you the foundation to understand everything that is communicated within your OT environment, so that you can protect your production processes to the benefit of customers, employees and your bottom line.
OT/IT Convergence and fundamental security practices
IT and OT have been converging for several years, and as OT professionals we need to adopt security practices from IT while respecting the fundamental principles of OT management.
Asset inventory management is the foundation of security management, and a transparency assessment is necessary to ensure that you are aware of everything communicating on your networks.