Cybersecurity / IT/OT Convergence / Business Strategist / Operational Strategist / Smart Systems / Industrial Networks

Ponemon Institute's study on security in the interconnected world

Feb 08, 2019

Ponemon Institute announced the release of its 2019 Safety, Security & Privacy in the Interconnected World of IT, OT and IIoT study, in partnership with TÜV Rheinland OpenSky. The study aims to understand the concerns organizations have for functional safety, cybersecurity and data privacy as they experience the convergence of IT, OT and IIoT. It examines how practitioners perceive cybersecurity, safety and privacy risks.

“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 of the 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, according to the study, prioritizing IT/OT convergence and highlighting new platforms and business services that can integrate different areas, from enterprise data at the corporate level to field and process-level automation. These platforms will be highly desirable in the pursuit of digitalization, as they can offer better designs, visualizations, ergonomics and convenience of accessibility.

Of course, according to the Ponemon Institute, these platforms bring the challenge of managing privacy while increasing the surface area of exposure to cyber-threats, while 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.

This research represents an objective study that captures the perceptions and beliefs of respondents, and may not reflect all the concerns that organizations face to manage security, privacy and safety in a world of interconnected systems. This report examines the following four key areas:

  • Achieving effective management of the convergence process
  • Overcoming challenges to a successful convergence process
  • The relationship between cybersecurity and business objectives
  • The convergence of IT, OT and IIoT