Digital transformation is occurring at a rapid pace across the critical infrastructure landscape. Operators, inspectors, and maintenance personnel are using mobile devices, augmented reality (AR), and digital twins to improve efficiency and effectiveness. Robots and autonomous vehicles are being deployed to drive higher productivity and process consistency. Managers are investing in IoT sensors and cloud analytics to help them optimize workflows, improve product quality, and reduce safety incidents. Facilities are enabling remote access into critical systems by vendors and home workers to get the fast, 24x7 support they need to minimize operational disruptions.
All these digital transformation developments increase the risks of serious cyber incidents that can jeopardize safety and business continuity. Every new external connection creates a potential pathway for remote attacks. Every new IoT device creates a potential launchpad for attacks from within. Mobile devices create opportunities for exfiltration of confidential information and injection of malware into critical business workflows.
Maintaining the security of critical infrastructure is essential, but cybersecurity can’t become a roadblock for business improvement. A panel of end users at the 2023 ARC Forum shared their thoughts on what is needed to build security strategies that enable secure deployment of new technologies.
ARC Frames the Security Risks of Digitalization
The New Security Strategies for Digitalized Operations cybersecurity workshop at the 2023 ARC Forum in Orlando, Florida had a lively discussion of the challenges of enabling secure digital transformation.
The session began with a brief presentation by ARC vice president and cybersecurity practice leader Sid Snitkin to frame the topic. This included a brief review of the many kinds of digital transformation initiatives that ARC is seeing across the industrial landscape and the implications that this could have for industrial cybersecurity programs that were designed for more traditional operations. Attendees were also encouraged to attend other ARC Forum sessions on these topics to gain a full understanding of how widespread digitalization has become and why every facility will ultimately be impacted.
ARC’s presentation concluded with a summary of cybersecurity program improvements that companies should consider enabling secure digitalization of critical operations.
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Keywords: ARC Industry Forum, Industrial Cybersecurity, Digital Transformation, ARC Advisory Group.