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Security for enterprise IT infrastructure is essential, but with the on-going industrial digital transformation underway in many OT environments, maintaining system availability and the ability to operate is mission critical. Security, availability, and ability to operate for IT and OT cannot be separated as one can affect the other.

There are some similarities between IT and OT regarding some operating systems, technologies, and networks. However, the somewhat proprietary nature of OT-specific technologies, network protocols, and architecture make it harder for threat groups and cybercriminals to find ways to impact a victim's OT environment. If adversaries aim to disrupt an industrial organization’s operations, the attacker might use easier ways to achieve their objectives by initially targeting the IT systems and network.

In this white paper, we discuss some of the many ways IT threats can impact OT operations to highlight the need for better IT/OT collaboration between IT operations teams and OT engineers.