21 Dec Criterion Cybersecurity Forensics Expert Delivers SNCA Keynote Address
Tamara-Jade Walters, one of Criterion’s leading experts in cybersecurity forensics and red/blue team operations working at the IARC in Las Vegas, delivered a keynote on the convergence of Operational Technology (OT), Information Technology (IT) and Internet of things (IoT) Cybersecurity at the Southern Nevada Cybersecurity Alliance (SNCA) event last week.
She discussed how manufacturing and energy are among the most targeted industries for cyber attacks, and provided a timeline of some of the more recent events affecting industry, including Stuxnet and Dragonfly. At the root of the problem, we find various industrial control systems (ICS), often considered synonymous with SCADA, supervisory control and data acquisition systems. They are the heart and soul of modern facilities. Put together, all technology that is used to monitor and control facilities can be generalized as another acronym: OT or operational technology.
Tamara discussed how we are now living in an era of transformation. OT and IT, formerly very distinct entities, are becoming inseparable. And IT is, of course, connected to the Internet. This process is accelerating due to introduction of IoT solutions. From a security point of view, it’s rather obvious what happens when OT and IT are bridged together. It opens a path for intruders, all the way down to floor-level machinery.
Tamara provided an eye-opening perspective on related security issues including real-world examples and personal experiences throughout her career. She covered a wide breadth of topics from performing penetration tests on factory floors (and how things can go wrong, quickly) to the risks of Amazon Alexa, Google Home, and Furby Connect. The audience was riveted!
When OT meets IT, and you begin adopting IoT (even for home use), cybersecurity should be top priority.