Zero Trust Security to Protect All OT Environments

Zero Trust Security to Protect All OT Environments

Palo Alto
Published by: Research Desk Released: Jun 13, 2023

Digital transformation is changing the face of industrial operations, presenting tremendous opportunities for organizations to revolutionize their businesses. Adoption of OT assets, 5G technology, and migration to the cloud are parts of the digital transformation many industrial organizations are pursuing to improve operational efficiency, reduce cost, and enhance worker safety.

This increased digitization means connectivity of machine to machine (M2M), machine to humans, and machine to outside the OT networks. This creates a connected ecosystem of cyber-physical systems (CPS). This trend is fueled by the following:

Smart Manufacturing

OT environments are going through Industry 4.0 initiatives fueled by digital technologies that connect employees, partners, suppliers, and machines. This integrated CPS ecosystem improves operational efficiencies, agility, and customer experience.

Old systems connecting to IT

Many existing OT systems developed without a focus on security are now connected to the IT network and the internet leading to security gaps. In addition, the growing complexity of OT systems and the patchwork of siloed security technologies have resulted in elaborate specialized network infrastructures that expand attack surfaces.

Accelerated remote connections due to the pandemic

The pandemic has accelerated connectivity as it required opening remote access to OT infrastructure via the internet for maintenance and operational purposes. It also forced some air-gapped OT environments to be opened to the cloud for remote analytics and asset maintenance.