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Almost 60 percent of executives at critical infrastructure operators said they lack appropriate controls to protect their environments from security threats, new research found.

Along those lines, nearly half of all respondents indicated their organizations plan to increase spending for industrial control system (ICS) security measures in the next 12-24 months, according to a report from security provider, Indegy.

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“We have been tracking the escalation in cyber threat activity specifically targeting critical infrastructures for some time,” said Barak Perelman, chief executive at Indegy. “As the recent joint DHS/FBI CERT Technical Alert illustrates, adversaries have compromised facilities across the U.S. to conduct reconnaissance and likely develop ‘Red Button’ capability for future attacks.”

While organizations have made significant investments to secure their IT infrastructures, they have not fully addressed threats to operational technology (OT) environments. The Indegy poll of nearly 100 executives from various critical infrastructure organizations underscores the lack of preparedness in key sectors including energy, utilities and manufacturing.

Cyber Security

Among the key findings:
• 35 percent of respondents said they have little visibility into the current state of security within their environment, while 23 percent reported they have no visibility
• 63 percent said insider threats and misconfigurations are the biggest security risks they currently face
• 57 percent said they are not confident their organization, and other infrastructure companies, are in control of OT security
• 44 percent of respondents indicated an increase in ICS spending was planned in the next 12 to 24 months, with 29 percent reporting they were not sure

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