Cybersecurity Technologies for Industrial Control Systems to Migrate from IT to Operational Technology-Centric Approaches

19 Apr 2016

New cybersecurity operational technologies are emerging to protect industrial control systems against impending IT threats and attacks. ABI Research, the leader in transformative technology innovation market intelligence, indicates that demand will focus on network level security in the short term but eventually shift to place the significance on embedded security and lifecycle management.

“The connectivity of traditionally closed industrial settings represents a new threat vector for cyberattacks,” says Michela Menting, Research Director at ABI Research. “These threats target critical infrastructure sectors, including energy, water, waste management, transport, and agriculture. Current cybersecurity methods are not enough to keep industrial control systems safe. IT-based cybersecurity now requires an adapted, OT-centric approach.”

As the market adapts, industrial control system (ICS) vendors are at risk. They will need to redesign next-generation control systems with digital security in mind. And cybersecurity vendors need to create new product solutions for operational technology (OT) settings, as existing IT-based cybersecurity is not easily configurable.

Yet, the market may face opposition as it migrates toward OT-centric cybersecurity solutions. There is a chance that security costs and elevated risks associated with connecting ICS are too high for some industrial operators. This may force some of them to forego connectivity within industrial settings.

“To move forward, security companies need to recognize OT as its own market that requires new solutions and new research and development investment,” concludes Menting. “ICS vendors need to incorporate cybersecurity in product development and lifecycle management. Industrial operators need to reconcile security differences in IT and OT management, converge security training and education, and enable dialogue between both camps.”

These findings are part of ABI Research’s Cybersecurity Technologies Service, which includes research reports, market data, insights, and competitive assessments.

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About ABI Research

For more than 25 years, ABI Research has stood at the forefront of technology market intelligence, partnering with innovative business leaders to implement informed, transformative technology decisions. The company employs a global team of senior analysts to provide comprehensive research and consulting services through deep quantitative forecasts, qualitative analyses and teardown services. An industry pioneer, ABI Research is proactive in its approach, frequently uncovering ground-breaking business cycles ahead of the curve and publishing research 18 to 36 months in advance of other organizations. In all, the company covers more than 60 services, spanning 11 technology sectors. For more information, visit

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