Why Your Operation Technology (OT) Needs Cybersecurity

Why Your Operation Technology (OT) Needs Cybersecurity 

Until recently, manufacturing hardware and processes existed largely un-networked. As the global economy demands production and logistical schedules optimized down to the minute, many industries are securely connecting operational technology (OT) to improve production processes and maximize efficiencies. 

In an era where industries like energy, manufacturing, and transportation have embraced digitalisation, the term “operational technology” (OT) has gained prominence. OT encompasses the hardware and software used to control physical processes, from power grids and water treatment plants to manufacturing assembly lines. 

While this technological evolution has brought about incredible advancements in efficiency and productivity, it has also accelerated the size, scope, and composition of an organization’s attack surface. 

Understanding the Risks: Why OT Cybersecurity is Crucial

1. Increased Connectivity and Integration

  • Digital Transformation: The integration of OT with IT systems as part of digital transformation initiatives has increased connectivity, making OT systems more vulnerable to cyber-attacks.
  • Remote Access: Remote monitoring and control capabilities, though convenient, open up new attack vectors for cybercriminals.

2. Critical Infrastructure Protection

  • Essential Services: OT systems often manage critical infrastructure that society relies on, such as power grids, water treatment facilities, and transportation networks.
  • National Security: Disruption in these services can have severe consequences for national security, public safety, and the economy.

3. Increasing Cyber Threats

  • Sophisticated Attacks: Threat actors targeting OT are becoming more sophisticated, with attackers using advanced persistent threats (APTs) to infiltrate and disrupt operations.
  • Targeted Attacks: Specific industries, such as energy and manufacturing, are frequent targets due to their critical nature and potential for disruption.

4. Legacy Systems and Vulnerabilities

  • Outdated Technology: Many OT systems were designed before cybersecurity was a major concern, resulting in outdated technology with inherent vulnerabilities.
  • Lack of Patching: Industrial control systems (ICS) and other OT components often lack regular updates and patches, making them more susceptible to attacks.

5. Regulatory Compliance

  • Industry Regulations: Compliance with industry-specific regulations (e.g., NERC CIP for energy, FDA for pharmaceuticals) often mandates stringent cybersecurity measures for OT systems.
  • Government Mandates: Increasing government regulations require organizations to implement robust cybersecurity frameworks to protect critical infrastructure.

6. Safety and Reliability

  • Operational Safety: Cyber-attacks on OT can lead to dangerous situations, putting workers’ safety at risk and potentially causing physical harm.
  • Reliability of Operations: Ensuring the continuous and reliable operation of industrial processes is crucial. Cyber-attacks can cause significant downtime and disrupt production.

7. Financial Impact

  • Cost of Downtime: Operational disruptions due to cyber incidents can lead to substantial financial losses from halted production, repair costs, and lost revenue.
  • Ransomware: The rise of ransomware attacks targeting OT systems can result in significant financial demands and operational paralysis.

8. Intellectual Property Protection

  • Sensitive Data: OT environments often contain valuable intellectual property, proprietary processes, and trade secrets that cybercriminals aim to steal.
  • Competitive Advantage: Protecting this information is essential for maintaining a competitive edge in the industry.

9. Incident Response and Recovery

  • Preparedness: Having robust cybersecurity measures in place helps organizations quickly detect, respond to, and recover from cyber incidents.
  • Mitigation: Effective cybersecurity can mitigate the impact of an attack, reducing downtime and preventing data loss.


Securing OT systems is not just about protecting technology but safeguarding critical infrastructure, ensuring operational continuity, and maintaining public safety. As cyber threats evolve, the need for comprehensive OT cybersecurity strategies becomes increasingly crucial. Organizations must invest in robust cybersecurity measures, regular updates, employee training, and incident response planning to protect their OT environments from the growing landscape of cyber threats.

Monitoring Remote Sessions

With more employees working from home, companies are seeking ways of monitoring remote sessions. One compelling case can be made for recording remote sessions for later playback and review. Employers are concerned that in the event of a security breach, they won’t be able to see what was happening on users’ desktops when the breach occurred. Another reason for recording remote sessions is to maintain compliance, as required for medical and financial institutions or auditing for business protocols, etc.

TSFactory’s RecordTS v7 will record Windows remote sessions reliably and securely for RDS, Citrix and VMware systems. Scalable from small offices with one server to enterprise networks with tens of thousands of desktops and servers, RecordTS integrates seamlessly with the native environment.

Click here to learn more about secure remote session recording.