Many UK organizations did not make cybersecurity a priority during the pandemic

IT and OT security professionals working at industrial enterprises claim the number of cybersecurity threats has risen substantially since the start of the pandemic, and their organizations are not doing enough to tackle the issue.

This is according to a new report from operational security firm Claroty, based on a poll of 200 UK staff working on critical infrastructure at large enterprises, which further states that cybercriminals deployed new tactics in 70 percent of cases.

A third of respondents said their organization’s OT environment isn’t properly safeguarded from potential threats, while a fifth said their company did not prioritize cybersecurity during the pandemic.

One of the bigger (and often underestimated) threats to companies with a remote workforce is the fact that teams are often siloed – especially IT and OT departments, whose work thus became significantly harder.

Pharma, oil & gas, electric utilities, manufacturing and building management systems were identified as the five most vulnerable verticals.

“As large enterprises are trying to improve their productivity by connecting more OT and IoT devices and remotely accessing their industrial networks, they are also increasing their exposure as a result,” said Yaniv Vardi, CEO at Claroty.

“OT security needs to be brought to the fore and made a priority for all organizations. Attackers know that IT networks are covered with cyber security solutions so they’re moving to exploit vulnerabilities in OT to gain access to enterprise networks. Not protecting OT is like protecting a house with state-of-the-art security and alarm systems, but then leaving the front door open.”

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