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  • Jon Colosimo

Information and Operational Technology: How AI Can Support Your Network Security

New to IT (Information Technology) or OT (Operational Technology)? See definitions and examples at the end of this article!

As Systems Integrators, Dagostino Electronic Services' IT Group has played a critical role in Network Infrastructure design and solution delivery to support the technology backbone of organizations, including cybersecurity solutions to secure the Network. As Industry 4.0 continues to be adopted, this also means OT (Operational Technology) has converged into a mission-critical part of the organization's technology backbone.

As you can imagine, especially with the rapid increase of complex cybersecurity breaches, it is more important than ever to ensure your team has the ability and bandwidth to detect and react to modern attacks. Just take a look how Reuters explains "Hacking via the Internet of Things" .

With cybersecurity concerns of "Can my personal network get hacked through my Nest Thermostat" all the way to programmatical overrides to large robotic equipment in warehouses, you can imagine the risks of not having the bandwidth to recognize and handle every identified threat. This is where Artificial Intelligence can be of assistance.

Artificial Intelligence in Cybersecurity

We're only human. While newer Network Management Systems come with more and more tools (such as Artificial Intelligence) to monitor and maintain security of a network, legacy network management tools provide a large amount of unprocessed data that no one, even a Knowledge Worker, could keep up with to identify anomalies in activity. Whether shopping for a new Network Management System or trying to upkeep and existing one, here are some suggested use cases of Artificial Intelligence for Cybersecurity:

  • AI Managed Network Access Control: see every device accessing a network at any given time and have AI properly inventory, classify, and track per the business requirement

  • Unified Threat Analysis: Digital Transformation has taken the business world by storm, creating needs to expand physical and cloud infrastructure making it relatively impossible for a human to collect and analyze every perceived threat across an ever-growing network. AI can be used to parse and create threat analysis data, identify vulnerabilities, and mitigate risks with less time-crunched decision making.

  • Automated Containment: As mentioned earlier, we are all dealing with the fast evolution of complex cyberthreats. An interesting trend that is evolving is mitigating risk at the device or end point; that is having an understanding of the end point's normal functionality and utilizing AI and Machine Learning to monitor for any abnormalities. If risk criteria is detected, the device can then be segmented from the network instantaneously, and further analysis can be conducted without risk of full network exposure. See how Fortinet does it with their Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR) solution:

Definitions and Examples

IT (Information Technology) is the necessary framework to support, monitor, manage, and secure typical business functions such as:

  • Email

  • Firewalls

  • Network Structure/Private Networks

  • Phone Systems

OT (Operational Technology) on the other hand is used for connecting, monitoring, managing, and securing industrial operations such as:

  • Internet of Things (IoT)

  • Industrial Control Systems (ICS)

  • Supervisory control and data acquisition systems (SCADA)

  • Programmable Logic Controllers (PLCs)


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