October 06, 2020

 

Claroty published in March its Global State of Industrial Cybersecurity report, which detailed the results of a survey of 1,000 information technology (IT) and operational technology (OT) security professionals conducted in Q4 2019. The survey was meant to glean insight into attitudes, perceptions, and concerns regarding OT security.

Needless to say, the world has changed in unprecedented ways during the past seven months, with the COVID-19 pandemic upending virtually every aspect of how we live our lives and how businesses are run. In particular, IT and OT security posture, priorities, and needs have shifted considerably for enterprises since the COVID-19 pandemic began, remote work became the norm, and adversaries grew eager to exploit these unprecedented conditions.

To better understand how the ongoing pandemic has impacted the concerns, experiences, and attitudes of those tasked with securing critical infrastructure, Claroty recently commissioned a follow-up survey. The results offer insight into 1,100 IT and OT security practitioners’ perspectives on:

Overall Threat Level During the COVID-19 Pandemic

A majority of security professionals who responded to our survey said their organization has become more of a target since the COVID-19 pandemic began. 56% of respondents experienced an increased volume of cyber threats, while 70% have seen cybercriminals using new tactics to target their organization.

56% of survey respondents have experienced more threats during the COVID-19 pandemic, and 70% have seen cybercriminals using new tactics to target their organization.

The Convergence of IT and OT Networks

The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic forced most enterprises to fast-track their digital transformation projects in an unprecedented way. The survey results substantiate this observation—more than two-thirds of respondents said their IT and OT networks have become more interconnected since the COVID-19 pandemic began.

Adapting to Disruption

Despite the challenges associated with the rapid shift to a broadly distributed workforce, two-thirds of survey respondents reported a seamless transition to remote work. One-quarter reported they experienced difficulties during this transition, while fewer than 10% said they did not shift to remote work. The survey results indicate that a lack of pre-existing cybersecurity plans and secure remote access were common among respondents who reported a difficult transition.

Building Resilience

Nearly 90% of respondents said their organization has updated its cybersecurity crisis response plan to reflect a more dispersed workforce, and a similar percentage of respondents said leadership has sufficiently prioritized cybersecurity in responding to the pandemic.

 

For full insight into our survey results, along with five recommendations for emerging stronger from the pandemic, download our new report, The Critical Convergence of IT and OT Security in a Global Crisis.