Technology Science

Beyond IT: Protecting operational technology from cyberattacks

Tulane University cybersecurity expert Joshua Copeland is available to speak on the importance of protecting operational technology (OT) from cyberattacks. Among other applications, OT controls valves, engines, conveyors and other machines vital to daily life. OT cyberattacks often lead to dire consequences beyond system delays. 

According to a recent Waterfall Security report, a 140% surge in cyberattacks against industrial operations resulted in over 150 incidents in 2022. Attacks on critical infrastructure inflicted damage and delays in vital operations such as banking, manufacturing, airline, mining, shipping, schools, libraries and various other organizations. 

“The simple answer is businesses must develop new tools and solutions to these problems. You can’t take the processes that you’re familiar with from the IT side and try to apply them to operational technology. People or local governments get into situations where operational technology is costly to upgrade. The big question is, what can businesses do nationally or internationally to incentivize doing the right things and building out more secure operational technology?”

Late last month, several lawmakers accused Microsoft of negligent security over a hack that allowed China to spy on top Biden administration officials. According to a Wall Street Journal article, researchers say the breach may be worse than initially suspected. More than two dozen organizations globally were affected. Microsoft described the attack as narrowly targeted at individuals whose communications were believed to possess high intelligence value. 



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