Take a Holistic Approach to OT-IT Security

IoT Thought Leader Sunil David Says the Biggest Challenge Is Device Heterogeneity
Sunil David, IoT thought leader and independent digital technology consultant

As more organizations encounter the amalgamation of OT and IT, they face a new set of security challenges. The threat surface broadens with a plethora of largely unsecured devices. This poses a threat to IT. Multi-layered with a defense-in-depth approach can mitigate the risks.

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"The biggest challenge is the heterogeneity of the OT environment in terms of devices and protocols. That poses additional challenges for manufacturers," says Sunil David, IoT thought leader and independent digital technology consultant.

In the manufacturing sector, there are several PLCs, electrical controls and SCADA systems. The sector has a lot of legacy infrastructure used in plants for decades, and these are being retrofitted with sensors to collect data. The sensors themselves are notorious for their poor security and default credentials.

To counter the perceived threat and reduce the risks, organizations must address security at every layer with a defense-in-depth approach.

"Take a holistic approach to secure the devices, networks and applications - with a threat intelligence layer. Robust security procedures and policies for IoT devices are essential to enforce those policies," David says. At an industry level, he says, IoT devices should undergo stringent testing and certification.

In a video interview with Information Security Media Group, David also discusses:

  • Core challenges in OT-IT fusion;
  • Defense-in-depth security approaches;
  • Use cases for edge and IoT.

David has more than 28 years of experience in the IT and telecom industries. Previously, he was the regional director - IoT (India and ASEAN) at AT&T India. Today, he advises enterprises in the areas of digital transformation and cybersecurity. He also consults for startups focused on providing digital solutions around supply chain, energy optimization and connected manufacturing.

About the Author

Brian Pereira

Brian Pereira

Sr. Director - Editorial, ISMG

Pereira has nearly three decades of journalism experience. He is the former editor of CHIP, InformationWeek and CISO MAG. He has also written for The Times of India and The Indian Express.

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