For ICS and automation system professionals, there’s a new, must-read report from Pike Research, the clean tech market research people.
Convergence in Automation Systems Protection was written by Pike senior analyst and cyber security expert, Bob Lockhart. It looks at the changing dynamics in the automation systems market, including technology, regulatory and business trends. The report details how these factors are reshaping the needs and requirements of organizations with major automation systems, such as critical infrastructure operators.
Contributing factors cited in the report include:
- Growing system complexity – because they’ve evolved over many years, most automation environments today include lots of disparate systems and heterogeneous assets.
- Resource constraints – the present economic climate and business conditions are causing most operators to find ways to do more with less.
- Intelligent devices proliferation – explosive growth in deployments of networked and IP-enabled devices have operators scrambling to handle unfamiliar management requirements.
One of the key take-aways in the report is that these changes are making it clear that overlaps exist in the processes, data and technologies required to effectively monitor, manage and protect today’s automation environments.
Another main theme is that innovative, forward-looking companies are pursuing gains in both efficiency and effectiveness in these overlapping areas. They’re doing so by taking more integrated and unified approaches to security, compliance and change management in their automation system environments.
Security, compliance and change management capabilities for automation systems continue to improve as technologies for handling these requirements steadily advance. By adopting a unified and integrated approach, operators are able to manage their systems more efficiently and effectively…and when that happens, security and compliance come as a natural byproduct.