In today’s digital age, cybersecurity threats are pushing refineries to re-examine their cybersecurity strategies. Gone are the days when information technology (IT) and operational technology (OT) could function separately in protected silos. Now, the need to share resources and information is critical, especially when both are working with automation suppliers to better respond to today’s complex and costly cybersecurity landscape. In fact, the Center for Strategic and International Studies and McAfee report that cybercrime has cost the world almost $600 billion, or 0.8 percent of global GDP.
In a Refiner’s Guide to Digital Transformation article, No more silos: OT and IT team up to tackle cybersecurity, Emerson’s Rick Gorskie shares strategies on how to enhance collaboration and protection:
- Start by tasking the refinery’s IT and OT groups to first evaluate and assess its current cybersecurity practices and analyze any current defense measures already in place. Together, they must look at ways to better bridge gaps and work more closely together to devise strategies based on new technologies to update procedures.
- It’s also important to take advantage of expert consultation when devising new cybersecurity strategies, especially when an outside perspective can take an unbiased look at what’s working and what needs improvement.
- Developing cybersecurity incident response plans, so that plant personnel know what to do in the event of an issue, is also critical.
No matter the technology already in place, strategies available today, or the ways in which a refinery’s IT and OT teams currently collaborate, the methods to strengthen a refinery’s cybersecurity approach are well established and can improve a plant’s cyberdefense posture.
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