Why does operational technology matter?

Operational technology (OT) cybersecurity encompasses the software, hardware, policies, personnel, and services deployed to protect physical systems. These systems comprise the backbone of national critical infrastructure and represent tangible links between society and its digital tools and data. In the past, these systems were more isolated and disconnected from other systems, with far more emphasis given to safety of their users than security of their component parts. No longer. With rising sophistication, automation, and interconnectivity in these operational technologies, security has become an overwhelming need. 

“Energy, water, maritime, and transportation – all enable modern society on the back of operational technologies.”

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The Atlantic Council’s Cyber Statecraft Initiative, under the Digital Forensic Research Lab (DFRLab), works at the nexus of geopolitics and cybersecurity to craft strategies to help shape the conduct of statecraft and to better inform and secure users of technology.