OT (Operational Technology) security awareness is crucial for individuals and organizations that rely on industrial control systems (ICS) and SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) systems to operate and manage critical infrastructure. Unlike traditional IT (Information Technology) systems, OT involves the control and monitoring of physical processes and equipment, such as manufacturing plants, power grids, and water treatment facilities.
The U.S. has observed the month of October as the ‘National Cybersecurity Awareness Month (NCSAM-CISA),’ since 2003, as a reminder to various industrial and manufacturing stakeholders, including supply chain vendors, to pause and analyze their cybersecurity environment. The intention behind this is to drive organizations to analyze their cyber security awareness and carry out necessary measures that will help to streamline and update their cybersecurity posture.
The past year has demonstrated that cyber adversaries are getting more sophisticated and destructive across industry sectors. Examining cyber security awareness within organizations would help connected networks protect their part of cyberspace, enhance cybersecurity practices, and encourage awareness about online habits as internet threats continue to grow. Cyber security awareness also provides an opportunity to implement stronger security practices, raise community awareness, and work towards educating vulnerable audiences or training employees.
Cybersecurity Awareness Month is co-led by the National Cyber Security Alliance and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Agency (CISA) of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. This year’s overarching theme for the month was focused on ‘Do Your Part. #BeCyberSmart,’ which aims to direct individuals and organizations to own their role in protecting their part of cyberspace, stressing personal accountability, and the importance of taking proactive steps to enhance cybersecurity.