Challenges facing critical infrastructure operators

While critical infrastructure operators hold great responsibility for managing security, compliance and operations, many struggle to balance the resources required for each of these functions, according to Industrial Defender.

In addition, while these individuals identify overlapping needs across security, compliance and operations, most have a constrained ability to address these requirements in any unified manner.

“There’s lots of attention being paid lately to the risks that cyber attacks pose to critical infrastructure,” said Brian Ahern, president and CEO of Industrial Defender. “Last year, the Stuxnet worm escalated the discussion about these threats to the boardroom. More recent developments have only increased concern among industry executives. Just last month, for example, the FBI disclosed that cyber attackers accessed the critical infrastructure of three U.S. cities by compromising their industrial control systems.”

The survey identified several trends that are impacting critical infrastructure managers and operators around the world. Following are some of the findings:

  • The relationship between industrial operations and corporate IT is clearly growing in complexity.
  • Corporate managers and ICS professionals hold very different views about how automation environments will evolve in the future.
  • While many ICS professionals report that their official responsibilities have expanded to include managing security and compliance, their reported day-to-day activities do not reflect this change.
  • Similar management requirements exist across security, compliance and operational functions in the complex automation environments that exist within critical infrastructure.
  • Today, many infrastructure operators are constrained in their ability to effectively manage their overlapping security, compliance and operational requirements.

The complete report is available here.

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