Operational Technology (OT) Security
Operational Technology (OT) Cyber Security references the software, hardware, practices, personnel and services deployed to protect operational technology infrastructure, people and data.
Maintaining control of all physical assets to ensure their safe operation always is the primary objective of OT cybersecurity and overrides all other concerns. They are used to protect the networks and systems against malicious attacks. The services from operational technology security cover smart city appliances, power stations and transportation networks.
Gartner defines OT security as, “Practices and technologies used to (a) protect people, assets and information, (b) monitor and/or control physical devices, processes and events, and (c) initiate state changes to enterprise OT systems.”
The threat of cyberattack is an important additional component to consider when evaluating the risk associated with disruption to operations. The costs of any potential attacks should also be estimated.
Often in distribution system applications, data acquisition is as important as control. Historically, Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) systems have been used to integrate data acquisition systems (sensors) with data transmission systems and data presentation solutions that support Human-Machine Interface (HMI) software, creating centralized visibility into an entire system, such as an electric grid.
Distributed Control Systems (DCS) provide a similar set of functionalities as SCADA but on the scale of a factory and typically with less complexity or at least diversity, in networking and communications channels.