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Ability to maintain a strong safety, cybersecurity, and privacy posture.
Source: Ponemon Institute

Convergence is essential or very important for companies and their ability to achieve a more mature security posture will increasingly depend on the convergence of IT and OT control systems, a new report found.

In addition, almost half of respondents (47 percent) said their leaders realize convergence is important to having trusted relationships with supply chain partners, according to a report from the Ponemon Institute conducted for TUV Rheinland OpenSky.

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In the report, 61 percent of respondents said convergence is essential or very important to their businesses and 62 percent of respondents said their companies’ ability to achieve a more mature security posture will increasingly depend on the convergence of IT and OT control systems.

Cyber Security

The purpose of this study is to understand the concerns organizations have for functional safety, cybersecurity and data privacy when there is a convergence of IT, operational technology (OT) and industrial internet of things (IIoT).

“The maturity and security posture of companies will increasingly depend upon the successful convergence of IT and OT control systems,” said Dr. Larry Ponemon, chairman and founder, Ponemon Institute. “Our study is unique in demonstrating the importance of the consolidation and integration of cybersecurity, functional safety and data privacy functions within IT and OT control systems.”

Digitalization around the areas of traditional manufacturing automation systems will continue to gain momentum; therefore the convergence of IT and operational technologies will be a strong point of discussion within enterprises, bringing into focus new platforms and business services that will potentially integrate different areas, from enterprise data at the corporate level, through to field and process-level automation. These platforms will be highly desirable in the pursuit of digitalization, as they would offer better designs, visualizations, ergonomics, and convenience of accessibility. But these platforms bring the challenge of managing privacy while increasing the surface area of exposure to cyber threats – and at the same time maintaining a similar or higher level of safety and reliability around the operations of these interconnected systems.

“Improving overall cybersecurity maturity will play a deterministic role in the success of a digitalization roadmap where the focus is to improve digital services in a complex and interconnected ecosystem. This is an area of focus for us at TUV Rheinland OpenSky and we were pleased to see that the outcome of the study reflects a similar prevalent opinion of cybersecurity practitioners across North America,” said Urmez Daver, global head of Industrial Security at TÜV Rheinland.

In the report, 62 percent of respondents said their organizations have a high ability to maintain a high safety posture. However, 44 percent of respondents said their organizations succeed at maintaining a strong cybersecurity posture. Consistent with the other findings about data privacy, only 39 percent of respondents say their organizations have a strong data privacy posture.

Click here to register to download the report.

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