If you are one of the other million viewers of the ABC hit drama Grey’s Anatomy and tuned in last week, you saw in action what a cyberattack on operational technology might look like. Operational technology is hardware and software that controls physical devices or processes in environments such as buildings, factories and utilities. The WannaCry and Petya attacks opened many security professional’s eyes to the fact that operational technology systems can be even more vulnerable to such attacks than IT systems. Operational technology is much harder to resolve any issues that may occur, so attacks on these systems cause much more mayhem than IT systems. 2018 is projected to be the year where operational technology becomes the main target of cyberattacks and verticals such as healthcare and industrial that rely heavily on operation technology need to start getting prepared.

cyberattacks on operational technology

Healthcare sector attacks could target data encryption, as well as device blocking. Connected medical equipment is often expensive and sometimes life-critical, making them prime targets for cyberattacks and extortion. Regardless of the sector or type of business, networked systems or devices may be susceptible to a variety of cyber threats, from viruses and malware, to botnets and denial of service attacks. When it comes to your operational technology systems, you’re dealing with critical infrastructure. You cannot afford to leave these systems vulnerable.  Here are some quick tips for making your operational technology cyber secure:

  • Implement basic password security such as deleting default user IDs and passwords, creating strong new ones, and changing them on a regular basis
  • Keep all software, patches and firmware updated to the most recent version
  • Contact your device manufacturers for security measures and guidelines for securing your connected operational technology devices and maintaining them throughout their lifecycle
  • Create a cyber security strategy that focuses on both operational technology and IT systems. Make sure your IT Consultants are familiar with your operational technology so that together you can plan how to manage appropriate maintenance, such as software and firmware upgrades and patches, while minimizing downtime and disruptions to your critical systems.

2018 is right around the corner and cyber criminals are going to start the new year off with a bang. Make sure your business is prepared and don’t become the next victim of a cyberattack. 2W Tech has IT Consultants on staff that specialize in Cyber Security solutions and can help ensure your operational and IT systems are protected from cyber attacks. Give us a call today to get started.
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