Experts Discuss Advancements and Challenges in OT Security at HSD Café

18 mei 2024
Auteur: HSD Foundation

On Thursday 16 May we had the privilege to host this year's first HSD Café. Around 60 participants found their way to the HSD Campus for 4 inspiring sessions about OT Security. This a very actual and important topic, since our digitising society is increasingly confronted with the consequences of cyber-attacks aimed at Operational Technology (OT) infrastructure. Government and entrepreneurs are growing more aware of these threats, as attacks can lead to considerable economic damage, and threaten the availability of basic life necessities.


The event featured insights from Stefan Barten from Modelec, Turabi Yilidrim from Rijkswaterstaat, and Riccardo Ferrari & Rosanne Aartman from TU Delft, each shedding light on different aspects of OT security and the importance of integrating advanced measures into existing infrastructures.


Stefan Barten emphasized the urgency of transitioning from basic to advanced OT security. He highlighted that OT security is lagging behind IT security but is rapidly gaining traction. Stefan pointed out the increasing awareness among organisations about securing their OT and IoT environments. He recommended solutions like Deep Packet Inspection to enhance the detection of malicious activities. However, he also noted the significant challenge of raising overall cybersecurity awareness and educating organization personnel. He advocated for a proactive approach to OT security that balances operational continuity with resilience.


Turabi Yildrim presented the complex journey of securing Rijkswaterstaat's diverse and longstanding infrastructure. He detailed the challenges of protecting numerous operational objects, many of which have legacy IT and OT components due to long project development timelines. Turabi shared insights into the CSIR and the three-track approach—Tap closed, mopping, and sealing cracks—emphasizing the importance of risk management and control.


Riccardo Ferrari & Rosanne Aartman from TU Delft showcased the latest innovations in detection and fault control within OT environments. Riccardo passionately explained how the immutable laws of physics aid in anomaly detection. He demonstrated the potential of homomorphic encryption for secure and efficient communication in OT networks. Rosanne demonstrated her collaborative work with Batenburg | Magion, applying these advanced principles to a water distribution network. 


The event concluded with a lively Q&A session, followed by drinks and bites. Attendees continued to engage in fruitful discussions about the presentations, reflecting the high level of interest and enthusiasm for OT security advancements.


Security Delta thanks the speakers and audience for their valuable contributions and looks forward to future discussions on OT security.


Several times a year, we organise an HSD Café around a key security topic relevant. The HSD Cafés serve to inform the network about the latest developments and opportunities, but also to discuss challenges. The HSD Cafés are organised by HSD Office and are open to professionals, experts, students, and all who are interested.




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