2021 has raised serious doubts about the cyber readiness of today’s critical infrastructure. Most prominently, the highly publicized ransomware attack on Colonial Pipeline, which required a $5 million ransom payment and caused supply shortages and gas lines across the northeast, demonstrated cybersecurity’s centrality to our day-to-day operations. The incident is emblematic of widespread cybersecurity vulnerabilities affecting critical infrastructure across the United States.
In addition to the attack on Colonial Pipeline, cybercriminals have targeted numerous government agencies, a city’s water supply, and a top meat producer with cyberattacks that disrupted operations, compromised data privacy and put peoples’ lives at risk.
Unfortunately, the widespread transition to remote work has only exacerbated these challenges. This is particularly acute when scaling IT cybersecurity architecture to enable operational technology (OT) engagement from anywhere. This October is the 18th annual Cybersecurity Awareness Month, which prompts companies to reevaluate their defensive posture, ensuring that they are prepared to #BeCyberSmart. For businesses embracing remote or hybrid work models while enabling OT operations, here are three cybersecurity risks they need to address.