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Welcome to the official blog of the International Society of Automation (ISA).

This blog covers numerous topics on industrial automation such as operations & management, continuous & batch processing, connectivity, manufacturing & machine control, and Industry 4.0.

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Cybersecurity Is a Business Imperative [Infographic]

OT Cybersecurity Is Not Just a Business Risk; It’s a Business Imperative 

For most people close to the OT cybersecurity world, it’s beyond obvious that industrial cybersecurity has a direct and significant impact on business decisions, specifically when it comes to risk assessment and management.  

For some who don’t see the statistics every day and aren’t on the front lines of working on solutions to these complex challenges, it isn’t so obvious. Perhaps it’s seen as a “plant floor problem” or an IT initiative rather than an integral part of an organization’s DNA, like your approach to safety or your commitment to sustainability.  

It’s time to make cybersecurity part of our culture in plants and facilities around the world, but also in the boardrooms where decisions and strategies are set. Studies show that 47% of industrial computers were attacked in 2018. The same studies show that only 23% of companies are following industry best practices, and 58% identified finding skilled employees as a critical challenge. From where we’re sitting, it looks like every industrial computer has a significant likelihood of being attacked. It’s highly likely that a given facility isn’t following best practices and guidelines, and it would probably struggle to make effective changes without making cybersecurity a critical focus area for the business.   

What could happen if an industrial computer is attacked? Well, for starters:  

  • The facility, or multiple facilities within the company, will lose productivity or halt production altogether for days or weeks 
  • Employees and the surrounding community are at risk of injury or death 
  • Damage to equipment and property assets 
  • Damage to the environment 
  • Product contamination  
  • Release or theft of hazardous substances 
  • Regulatory, legal, and civil consequences

Source: NIST 800-82v2 


Infographic: Poorly Managed Cybersecurity Is a Major Business Risk


Made with Visme Infographic Maker

Check out the infographic above to see the financial costs that have impacted many well-run, well-respected companies who ran out of luck. See, that’s the thing—it’s not IF you’ll get attacked, it’s WHEN you’ll get attacked. There’s almost no avoiding that part—but you can avoid a disastrous consequence by committing to a cyber-aware culture founded upon standards-based best practices and expertise. It’s not just your best defense, it’s your only defense—your people, your processes, and your technology are depending on it.  

Jennifer Halsey
Jennifer Halsey
Jennifer Halsey was the director of marketing and communications for ISA.

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