Peter Newton is a Senior Director of Products and Solutions at Fortinet, where he oversees the Zero-Trust Network Access (ZTNA), Secure Access, Operational Technology (OT) and IoT solutions. He brings 20 years of experience with computer networking and security, working at both chip-level and system level solutions for companies including AMD, Netgear, Silver Spring Networks, and Fortinet. Prior work experience includes being an officer in the US Navy. Peter holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Electrical Engineering from Rice University and a Master’s in Business Administration from the University of Texas at Austin.
Modernization of operational infrastructure and online activation of more IP devices is rapidly expanding the attack surface and increasing the complexity of managing OT systems. As malicious threats now pose a much greater risk to operational uptime/availability and IP-enabled OT systems expose business-critical IP data, leaders are under pressure to ensure OT systems are protected.
This is exacerbated by the fact that OT security seriously lags behind IT security. It is no wonder that 89% of firms with OT systems experienced a breach in those systems (and over half in the past year). The threat of malicious intrusions and attacks can have a much greater dramatic impact on operational availability and safety, with only a few downtime minutes adding up to hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars in lost productivity and revenue, heightening safety concerns, and detrimentally impacting brand reputation.
Upgrading OT security is not easy, as planned downtime is required for testing, installation, and maintenance. But with increasing pace and sophistication of the threat landscape, traditional security approaches will not work. Industries in purview: manufacturing, oil & gas, transportation, and energy/utilities.