IT disaster recovery, cloud computing and information security news

New research looks at industrial cyber security and breach impacts

Barracuda Networks Inc. has released key findings from a report titled The State of Industrial Security in 2022. The research surveyed 800 senior IT managers, senior IT security managers, and project managers responsible for industrial internet of things (IIoT)/operational technology (OT) in their organization to get their perspectives on IIoT/OT security projects, implementation challenges, security incidents, technology investments, and a variety of issues related to cyber security risks.

Overall, the research shows that critical infrastructure is under attack, and despite agreement that IIoT and OT security is critical, businesses are facing some significant challenges as the geopolitical landscape becomes increasingly tense. Security breaches have shown to have impacts beyond monetary losses as well, resulting in significant downtime with long-lasting breach impact.

The research found:

  • Attacks are widespread: 94 percent of organizations surveyed acknowledged experiencing a security incident in the last 12 months.
  • Geopolitical concerns: 89 percent of respondents are very or fairly concerned about the impact that the current threat landscape and geopolitical situation will have on their organizations.
  • Breaches are impacting operations: 87 percent of organizations that experienced a security breach incident were impacted for more than one day.

Organizations across the board have acknowledged the importance of investing even further in IIoT and OT security, with 96 percent of business leaders noting that their organization needs to increase their investment in industrial security. A full 72 percent of organizations signaled that they have either already implemented or are in the process of implementing IIoT/OT security projects, but many are facing significant challenges when it comes to implementation, including basic cyber hygiene.

Findings include:

  • Manufacturing and healthcare lag behind: critical infrastructure organizations are leading with implementation, and 50 percent in oil and gas having completed projects. Only 24 percent in manufacturing and just 17 percent in healthcare have completed projects.
  • Businesses are experiencing failures: 93 percent have failed in their IIoT/OT security projects.
  • Effective IIoT security implementations are making an impact: for organizations with completed IIoT and OT security projects, 75 percent have experienced no impact at all from a major incident.
  • Multifactor authentication (MFA) use is low: only 18 percent of companies surveyed restrict network access and enforce multifactor authentication when it comes to remote access to OT networks.
  • Low MFA use is prevalent even in critical industries: critical verticals like energy (47 percent) allow full remote access without MFA for external users.
  • Skills have an impact: less than half of organizations surveyed can handle applying security updates themselves (49 percent).
  • Manual updates are cumbersome: organizations are hit the worst when security updates are not automatic.

More details.

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