Intelligent CIO Africa Issue 76 | Page 75

FINAL WORD one thing , the renewable energy sector must up its cybersecurity game .
Interconnected and vulnerable
A variety of drivers have pushed organisations to adopt technology that allow new ways of working , which means background infrastructure is now far different compared to years past . As an example , enabling remote working and the modernisation of operational systems including engineering and manufacturing applications , has seen organisations embrace the cloud . A knock-on effect of this is physical devices and systems of all types are connected to a network and are programmable . At the same time , new compute platforms and development shifts including cloud , DevOps , mobile and SaaS have made it possible to move from concept to capability with ease .
For this to work properly , two systems that traditionally operated in silos have converged : one side comprises IT systems such as servers , routers , notebooks , while the other includes operational technology systems such as human machine interfaces and programmable logic controllers .
And whereas in the past OT systems and environments had restricted or no connectivity and may even have been air-gapped , the deployment of smart technology has meant internet-connected assets are mandatory and encompass IT and OT systems , thus dissolving the once defined network perimeter .
Network challenges
In the past , traditional network security has seen the fortification of a network ’ s perimeters , and , with regards to OT security , a discussion was rarely given much thought as those systems were typically seen as protected by air-gap . Both concepts have been rendered invalid since organisations have adopted hybrid infrastructure comprising onpremises systems , private and public cloud , and connected devices .
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