Title: Internet of Everything (IoE): Information Technology (IT) and Operational Technology (OT)
Authors: Joseph J. Beel, Reema Prasad, Cisco Systems, Inc.
The Internet of Everything (IoE) is the networked connection of people, process, data and things. The value or benefit of IoE is derived from the compound impact of connections. IoE unlocks the potential of utilizing data that links people, process and things in a connected world. Rockwell Automation describes this value by stating that: “Connectivity is deepening our understanding of events and sharpening decision-making.”i Benefits from IoE will multiply substantially as the world becomes increasingly connected.
The Internet of Things (IoT) refers to the networked connection of physical objects or things. IoT is a key component of IoE, which is a broader concept of connecting things in such a way that processes can be affected by data being in the hands of the key people. IoE incorporates not just “things” but also the data, process, and people involved in making the connection of “things” valuable. While IoT heavily leverages the reduced cost of and miniaturization of sensors and endpoint devices, IoE is farther reaching and offers true business transformation by leveraging the underlying network of connections. Information Technology (IT) encompasses the technology used predominately for information processing and communications for this underlying network. Operational Technology (OT) is the hardware/software used in direct monitoring and/or control of physical devices with an emphasis on reliability, availability, productivity and safety. Historically, IT and OT have been operated separately because OT was under the purview of the line of business managers who ran operations. As IoT grows, IT and OT will converge, whereby OT will use the underlying network to bring traditionally unconventional devices onto the network. This trend will, in turn, impact the understanding and application of cybersecurity. Advanced cybersecurity approaches will bridge IT and OT networks to protect both while ensuring availability of critical OT systems to deliver mission success. Network segmentation, next generation encryption, intrusion prevention, advanced malware protection and identity services will be leveraged to protect data and networks before, during, and after an attack. Cybersecurity will be increasingly needed for a continuum of events, rather than a solution to prevent individualized events.