The convergence of the IT (information technology) and OT (operational technology) worlds continues to affect industry and infrastructure, and it's something that ARC discusses frequently. The convergence of IT and OT is particularly important in the realm of cyber security. Most cyber attacks begin with the IT infrastructure, with an intruder gaining access to business level computers and networks. However, to cause real disruption in the physical world, many of these new attacks end up in the industrial control system (ICS) and OT infrastructure, where the capabilities of the ICS are used to disrupt the manufacturing process, open and close electrical breakers, overpower centrifuges, and so on.
Detecting the new face of cyber attacks requires this holistic view of IT and OT. This is the philosophy behind the alliance between CrowdStrike and Dragos. CrowdStrike is a leading cyber security endpoint protection and services provider that competes primarily in the IT domain, while Dragos is one of the leading ICS cybersecurity firms with considerable expertise in the OT realm. From the press release:
“The company’s partnership with Dragos will provide CrowdStrike with the most strategic vantage point and domain expertise to address the security needs specific to customers in the Industrial Control System (ICS) and Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) space. Combining Dragos’ deep industry expertise with CrowdStrike’s proactive and reactive services will enable customers to gain access to a compelling set of solutions, custom-built to address today’s critical infrastructure threats.”
End users will be able to combine the CrowdStrike Falcon endpoint protection platform, services, and best practices at the enterprise level with the Dragos platform an expertise, which provides deep insight into ICS/SCADA cyber incidents. The combination of the two companies and their respective focus on IT and OT domains provides a holistic context for improved awareness, visibility, and improved ability to respond to abnormal situations.
Both CrowdStrike and Dragos have many customers in manufacturing, and the two companies have many customers in common in the manufacturing, electric utilities, rail, and oil and gas industries. If you are focusing on incident response, no supplier alone can fully cover both IT/Enterprise and OT/ICS worlds. ARC believes this alliance provides some great potential for this badly needed holistic view of cyber security and we look forward to covering further developments that arise from this relationship.