In the ever-evolving world of technology, people who work with computers know exactly what to do when technical issues occur – call someone skilled in IT (informational technology). If there’s a problem with the hardware itself, however, they may want to contact a person with an expertise in OT (operational technology). Interestingly enough, these two departments have started working more closely together than ever before. So what are the similarities and differences between them? Q-Net Security explains more below on operational technology vs. informational technology:
Since there’s a good chance you’ve heard of IT before, let’s start by furthering your understanding of OT. Operational technology involves controlling and monitoring the physical devices and machinery that are associated with computing. OT systems are sometimes interchangeably referred to as SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) systems. They are used to control actual devices and are common in highly physical industries (like utilities, manufacturing, or oil and gas). It’s more common to find OT in an industrial environment, where large pieces of machinery operate on their own. Simply put, think about hardware when someone mentions OT. Very few, if any, updates are needed for OT devices.
IT is responsible for ensuring the delivery of data between multiple networks, offering support when issues occur, and maintaining network connections. IT constantly works with hardware and software, ideally in the background so that nothing even seems awry in the first place. This means that tech handled by IT requires careful monitoring and updating. You’ll most likely find IT in a business setting, where companies rely on emails and VPNs.
Previously, hardware associated with OT would only provide an authorized user with access through itself – meaning that it did not communicate through the Internet. It’s now possible to integrate OT with IT so that remote access is granted.
If you’re curious about how vulnerable your hardware becomes when it open its channels to communicate via the Internet, then you’re thinking smart. Without an Internet connection, a piece of hardware can only be cracked in person. With it, there’s certainly the potential for hackers to come sneaking around your data. That’s why the Q-Box has become a necessity throughout the country.
The Q-Box is a hard-sec device that delivers quantum compute-resistant encryption, is decentralized for robustness, and renders network nodes invisible to attackers. It requires no changes, additions, or modifications to legacy software systems and networks. The Q-Box is also truly “plug-and-play,” requiring only minutes of installation time at each location. Weighing less than a kilogram, this cyber-protection unit connects directly in line with a computer, server, IoT element, or network device.
A hard-sec device, like the Q-Box, is especially appropriate for at-home employees who need to securely connect to existing approved endpoints (such as onsite servers). With an established on-site target, Q-Net Security can create a secure tunnel to company resources, and then out to online resources.