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Research by Fortinet shows that 74 percent of managers of operational technology (OT) in the industry have had to deal with data leaks in the past twelve months. The observed data leaks resulted in a drop in safety, productivity and turnover, exposure of business-critical data and reputational damage, among other things.

OT stands for the hardware and software used for industrial control systems such as SCADA. These operating systems are the basis for the management of vital infrastructures. Industrial technology is used by companies with facilities that are crucial for the safety and well-being of people. Examples are care institutions, transport companies and energy companies.

According to Fortinet’s survey of 25,000 respondents, OT environments are mainly attacked by malware, phishing, spyware and mobile hacks. Moreover, the attacks appear to be a persistent problem for four reasons. For example, 78 percent of organizations have only a partial overview of the security of their OT, making it difficult to detect aberrant behavior and respond quickly to incidents.

Staff shortage

There is also a shortage of security personnel. In addition, 64 percent of all OT managers say they have difficulty keeping up with the latest security developments. Finally, OT network environments are quite complex, as there are between 50 and 500 devices and need to be secured. Many of these devices come from different manufacturers, all of which store different data and require different security configurations. This problem exacerbates the lack of overview and the shortage of staff.


In its investigation, Fortinet also asked what measures OT managers were planning to take to improve internal security and reduce the risk of downtime due to cyber attacks. Sixty-two percent indicated that their organization plans to significantly increase its security budget this year.

In addition, 70 percent intend to make their CISO responsible for the AT security strategy this year. At the moment, only 9% of all CISOs supervise this security.

This news article was automatically translated from Dutch to give Techzine.eu a head start. All news articles after September 1, 2019 are written in native English and NOT translated. All our background stories are written in native English as well. For more information read our launch article.