In the current digital era, the manufacturing and oil and gas industries extensively rely on technology to increase efficiency and productivity. However, as technological dependence increases, so does the risk of cyber attacks and security breaches. For the success of these industries, an effective operational technology (OT) asset inventory is essential.  

OT assets consist of industrial controllers such as programmable logic controllers (PLCs) and distributed control system (DCS) controllers that exist outside of traditional information technology (IT) assets. These assets are the foundation of industrial processes, and a breach in their security can have severe repercussions, including production delays, safety risks, and financial losses. 

Here are some key reasons why a strong OT asset inventory is essential for the manufacturing and oil and gas industries: 

  1. Provides a comprehensive view of all assets: With a comprehensive inventory of all OT assets, organizations can gain a complete view of their installed assets, their many network connections, and their relationships to other assets in the enterprise. This information can help identify and remediate cyber risks and provide a foundation for effective cybersecurity management. 
  2. Enables effective system configuration and change management: A strong OT asset inventory is critical for system configuration and change management. It ensures that organizations have the information to properly configure their systems, maintain them, and perform timely updates to mitigate vulnerabilities. 
  3. Supports advanced functions like anomaly detection: An accurate and detailed OT asset inventory can provide the context for more advanced functions like anomaly detection. By comparing real-time network behavior against a comprehensive asset inventory, organizations can quickly identify and respond to suspicious activity. 
  4. Addresses compliance requirements: For many organizations, compliance with regulatory requirements is critical to their operations. A comprehensive OT asset inventory can help organizations meet compliance requirements by providing a complete view of their assets and configurations. 
  5. Reduces overall risk: A strong OT asset inventory can significantly reduce risk. By knowing what assets are present and their configurations, organizations can proactively address vulnerabilities before they are exploited by cyber attackers. 

In conclusion, the manufacturing and oil and gas industries must prioritize the development and upkeep of a comprehensive OT asset inventory to ensure the security of their critical infrastructure. With a comprehensive view of all assets, effective system configuration and change management, support for advanced functions such as anomaly detection, and compliance with regulatory requirements, organizations can reduce overall risk and safeguard their operations from cyber threats. 

Learn more about OTbase.

There are around 30+ products in the “ICS Detection” category, but OTbase isn’t one of them. You may have a hard time understanding how one ICS Detection product differs from the next, but it’s easy to see how OTbase differs from all of those. For a quick check if it could be the right product for your company’s journey toward efficient OT asset management, book a meeting with our experts for more background.