OT, SCADA – What Does it All Mean?


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Industrial machines and devices connected to the network have been gaining momentum and demonstrating effectiveness, however, they are vulnerable to cyberattacks that have far-reaching consequences, especially in critical infrastructure.

OT, ICS, and SCADA are some of the terms used frequently in this regard. What do they represent and what is the difference between them?

Operational Technology (OT) refers to “computing systems that are used to manage industrial operations, as opposed to administrative operations” and Information Technology (IT). “Operational systems include production line management, mining operations control, oil & gas monitoring, etc.” as defined by Graham Williamson, at kuppingercole.com. 

Industrial control systems (ICS) is “a major segment within the operational technology sector. It comprises systems that are used to monitor and control industrial processes. This could be mine site conveyor belts, oil refinery cracking towers, power consumption on electricity grids, or alarms from building information systems. ICSs are typically mission-critical applications with a high-availability requirement.”

“Industrial control systems (ICS) are often managed via Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) systems that provide a graphical user interface for operators to easily observe the status of a system, receive any alarms indicating out-of-band operation, or enter system adjustments.” “SCADA systems display the process under control and provide access to control functions.”

Interested in learning more about Critical Infrastructure OT and SCADA? Attend INNOTECH 2021 Cyber, HLS, and Innovation Event at Expo Tel Aviv, Nov. 17-18.