Until recently, operational technology (OT) and information technology (IT) had completely different purposes and were on separate, independent networks. But digital transformation (DX) is forcing the merger of the networks to reduce costs, increase productivity, and gain or maintain competitive advantage. A growing number of sectors are integrating networking and digital communications into OT environments with deployment of Industrial Internetof-Things (IIoT) devices. Other IT-based technologies, along with machine learning (ML) and big data, are being integrated into OT networks.
The majority of OT networks are now connected to the internet, exposing them to the entire threat landscape. This greatly increases the attack surface and makes it easier and faster for cybercriminals, nation-states, and hacktivists to exploit OT systems.