In the past, some businesses have decided against keeping OT systems up-to-date, selecting stability over security. They need to be up and running at all times, otherwise the plant could lose vital real-time information and fall behind production schedules.
Delays or unplanned downtime cost a business time and money which is one of the reasons why some OT systems are left as they are. However, this means plants around the world may be operating from machines that have limited security controls in place and they are becoming more connected. Here lies the problem.
These vulnerabilities are perfect for hackers who are looking for exploits and routes into a network. This is why OT security is so important, breaches can have kinetic consequences like a breaker trip which causes the lights to go out. The number of attacks that specifically target organizations utilizing OT is on the rise. A survey found that 90% of these organizations had experienced at least one damaging cyberattack in the previous two years.