Cyberattacks on operational technology (OT) systems are rapidly rising. In fact, manufacturing was one of the sectors most impacted by extortion attacks last year, according to Palo Alto Networks Unit 42, as reported in the 2023 Unit 42 Extortion and Ransomware Report.
Attacks against OT systems can have a significant impact, including physical consequences such as shutdowns, outages, leakages, or worse. The Colonial Pipeline attack in 2021 is one of the most well-known examples of a major OT attack; the attack prompted a temporary shutdown of nearly half the gasoline and jet fuel supply delivered to the East Coast. That led to fuel shortages and price hikes.