• February 8, 2023

7 Types of Operational Technology Attacks You Should Guard Against In 2023

 7 Types of Operational Technology Attacks You Should Guard Against In 2023

7 Types of Operational Technology Attacks You Should Guard Against In 2023

Did you know that 93% of operational technology systems have experienced at least one intrusion in the last 12 months? Not only that, 78% of these operational technology systems experienced three or more intrusions during the last year. According to operational technology security statistics, 50% of organizations suffered an operational outage, which negatively impacted their productivity.

The worst part, almost all the intrusions (90%) took more than an hour to fix. 33% of businesses experienced reputation damage, and data loss and failed to meet compliance requirements due to these operational disruptions. All these statistics clearly highlight the gravity of the situation and how big of a threat operational technology attacks can really be to your business.

In this article, AntiDos will highlight seven types of OT attacks that you should be aware of and take steps to guard against.

Table of Contents

What is Operational Technology?
7 Types of Operational Technology Attacks You Should Guard Against
1. Malware attacks:
2. Physical attacks:
3. Insider threats:
4. Remote access attacks:
5. Network attacks:
6. Supply chain attacks:
7. Industrial espionage
How To Protect Your Business Against Operational Technology Attacks?
Conclusion

What is Operational Technology?

Operational technology (OT) refers to the hardware and software systems that are used to control, monitor, and support physical processes in a variety of industries, including manufacturing, transportation, and energy. OT systems are often critical to the smooth functioning of these industries, and as such, they are a common target for attackers.

7 Types of Operational Technology Attacks You Should Guard Against

Here are seven types of operational technology attacks you should guard against.

1. Malware attacks:

One of the most common types of operational technology attacks is the use of malware to gain access to and manipulate operation technology systems. This can be done through phishing attacks, in which an attacker lures an employee into clicking on a malicious link or opening a malicious attachment, or by exploiting vulnerabilities in the operation technology system itself. Once the malware is installed, it can be used to steal data, disrupt operations, or even cause physical damage to equipment.

2. Physical attacks:

Operational technology systems are often located in facilities that are not secured as well as traditional IT systems, making them vulnerable to physical attacks. For example, an attacker could gain access to an operational technology system by physically tampering with equipment or by installing their own malicious devices, such as keyloggers or routers.

3. Insider threats:

Operation technology systems are often managed by a small group of specialized personnel, which can make them vulnerable to insider threats. For example, an employee with access to operational technology systems could intentionally or unintentionally compromise them, either through malice or carelessness.

4. Remote access attacks:

Many operation technology systems are accessed remotely, either through the use of virtual private networks (VPNs) or through the Internet. This can make them vulnerable to remote access attacks, in which an attacker gains unauthorized access to the system through a remote connection.

5. Network attacks:

Operation Technology systems are often connected to other systems and networks, which can make them vulnerable to network-based attacks. For example, an attacker could use a network sniffer to capture sensitive data or could launch a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack to disrupt operations. That is why it is important to invest in DDoS protection services to ensure business continuity.

6. Supply chain attacks:

Operation technology systems often rely on a complex supply chain, which includes the procurement of hardware, software, and services from third-party vendors. This can create opportunities for attackers to compromise the supply chain and introduce malicious components into the operation technology system.

7. Industrial espionage

It is also known as corporate espionage or economic espionage, is the act of obtaining proprietary or confidential information from a business or organization for the purpose of providing an advantage to a rival or competitor. This can take many forms, including the theft of data or physical documents, the recruitment of employees with access to sensitive information, or the interception of communications.

Industrial espionage can be motivated by a variety of factors, including the desire to gain a competitive advantage, the desire to replicate a product or service, or the desire to damage the reputation or market position of a rival. It can be carried out by individuals, groups, or even governments, and can be difficult to detect or prevent.

One common method of industrial espionage is the use of insiders, such as employees or contractors, who have access to sensitive information. Insiders may be motivated by financial gain, revenge, or ideology, and may be recruited by outsiders through a variety of means, including bribes, threats, or the promise of future employment.

To protect against industrial espionage, organizations can implement a number of measures, including employee training and awareness programs, robust security protocols, and the use of encryption and other security technologies. It is also important to be vigilant and report any suspicious activity or concerns to the appropriate authorities.

How To Protect Your Business Against Operational Technology Attacks?

To guard against these types of operational technology attacks, it is important to implement robust security measures that include the use of firewalls, intrusion detection, and prevention systems, and strong authentication protocols. In addition, it is crucial to regularly update and patch operation technology systems to ensure that they are protected against the latest threats. Finally, employee training and awareness programs can help to reduce the risk of insider threats and prevent the accidental compromise of OT systems.
Conclusion
Operation technology attacks can pose a serious threat to the smooth functioning of critical industries and infrastructure. By understanding the different types of attacks that can occur and taking steps to guard against them, you can protect your organization and its operations from harm.

Which is the most dangerous type of operational technology attack in your opinion? What steps do you take to protect your business from it? Share it with us in the comments section below.

Robin Williams

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