A new report released by technology company OTORIO features insights on industrial cyber attacks, the latest on ransomware, a briefing on why C-level management will become more involved in Operational Technology (OT) cybersecurity and 2021 predictions for industrial cybercrime.

2020 has been a remarkable year for cybersecurity in general and specifically for industrial cybersecurity, this is according to the OT Security Strategic Predictions 2021 report.

Forced lockdowns, travel bans, social distancing and a general fear of the pandemic have all slowed the global economy almost to a halt. However, for the industrial sector and its just-in-time supply chain, COVID-19 actually served to accelerate processes such as remote access and remote management and operations.

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To maintain productivity and competitiveness, organisations were forced to open their production floor and allow remote access to both employees and vendors. Yet this rapid adoption of connectivity tools has become at times a double-edged sword – especially when proper digital and cybersecurity measures are lacking. And as with any gap in cybersecurity, hackers were quick to locate it, and exploit it.

Cybercriminals are replacing state-sponsored hackers as the main threat to the industrial sector, according to the study.

Assessments and predictions for 2021:

Cyber criminals have identified industrial organisations as ill prepared and very lucrative. As a result:

1.  Ransomware will physically impact production.

2.   Remote access to industrial production floors will be a primary risk.

3.   Attacks on OT will become more significant throughout geopolitical tensions.

4.  C-level management will become more involved in OT cybersecurity. 

5.   To cope with reduced budgets, CSOs and CISOs will seek convergence across security solutions.

6. Commonly used threat detection paradigms will be replaced by proactive risk avoidance approaches.

Read the full 2020 Cyber Threatscape Report available here.