Governance & Risk Management , Operational Technology (OT) , Security Operations

Protecting Industrial Security When Uptime Is Essential

Mark Cristiano of Rockwell Automation on How to Secure Operational Technology
Protecting Industrial Security When Uptime Is Essential
Mark Cristiano, commercial director of global business services, Rockwell Automation

When Rockwell Automation started its network and cybersecurity services business 10 years ago, it had to deal with the fact that there was no proactive planning process for securing networks and numerous Ethernet-enabled shop floor devices - certainly not with the same the care given to IT networks.

"The networks and OT grew up out of necessity," says Mark Cristiano, the commercial director of global business services for Rockwell Automation.

Engineers would plug in one too many devices and the entire network would go down, he recalls, and when it comes to operational technology, availability is essential. So Rockwell went into the cybersecurity services business.

"Deploying cybersecurity slows things down, and it's for a reason," Cristiano says. Passwords need to be entered, credentials need to be checked, but the shop floor is "all about availability uptime." He says Rockwell's customers struggle with that friction, and the company is "very sensitive to that."

In this episode of "Cybersecurity Unplugged," Cristiano discusses:

  • How Rockwell is expanding its cybersecurity services portfolio through countermeasures, professional services and fully managed services;
  • The CISO's importance in evangelizing cybersecurity at organizations that rely on operational technologies;
  • The minimum and proper industrial protections companies need to put in place.

Cristiano leads Rockwell Automation's global commercial team that focuses on industrial IT and OT convergence, and he helps bring companies into the 21st century and embrace the Fourth Industrial Revolution. He has spent the last 30 years in IT and enterprise and manufacturing systems leadership, spending the last 19 years at Rockwell Automation.

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