Flashpoint Executive: The Gap Between IT And OT Will Impact IoT Security

Lance James, chief scientist at Flashpoint, told operational technology and IT solution providers Wednesday that they need to work together to improve security measures in the Internet of Things.

’I think one of the issues it comes down to is a break in communications, empathy, and a break in a few pieces here that isn’t about technology,’ said James, speaking at KMC Genius Summit, KMC Controls’ partner conference in Chicago.

Despite the ’break in communications’ between the two, James said that OT partners, which specialize in the physical aspects of building control such as lighting and energy automation, and IT technology partners, who handle computing hardware, software and networking technology, can bring valuable information and knowledge to the table.

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For example, operational technology needs to deal with critical situations involving life or death if their technology goes down, something IT doesn’t face in office back-end networks.

Mentorship is one way that IT and OT leaders can work together effectively to bridge that gap and learn more about the information on both sides, said James.

’There’s not really any good write-ups on IT or OT, [so partners] need to start with mentorship,’ he said. ’Find accountable leaders on both teams to build out that [relationship] from the top down – so the leaders from IT go to the other guys and say, ’Let’s go have lunch.’ Once we’re OK with having lunch, we can bring together the cultural differences.’