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What is an operational network and what are the benefits?

WHAT IS AN OPERATIONAL NETWORK?
To understand OT, we must first define IT, information technology.

IT is the common term for the entire spectrum of technologies for information processing, including software, hardware, communications technologies and related services. IT manages the flow of digital information (data). In general, IT does not include embedded technologies that generate data for enterprise use.

Gartner defines OT, operational technology as hardware and software that detects or causes a change, through the direct monitoring and/or control of industrial equipment, assets, processes and events.

IT vs. OT is an ongoing debacle, but it does not have to be. Ethernet has become the industry standard, using the same network technologies in the production (OT) and administrative (IT) areas. These identical technologies ignite the hope of an acceleration of information sharing between different players within a company.

The solution to IT/OT convergence is to build a separate OT network and in a controlled way link that to the IT network in order to transfer data from the operative network to the servers and systems in the IT network.

BENEFITS OF OPERATIONAL NETWORKS

You may be giving users the ability to have private networks of communication, agnostic of the internet connection type and then allowing them to have features like access management, transparent true remote access, or all of the above. No matter what stage of digitalisation you are in, understanding the OT model is valuable for your business. It will not be long before someone asks you to start pulling data from your systems, so start building your OT ecosystem now.

Segmenting your networks off of the IT networks brings many benefits:

We at Tosibox are already helping secure and manage OT networks in 150 countries. TOSIBOX® is your cyber secure network for storing and exchanging your data through a centralized communication system, connecting your people and your machines. It is a simple way to build agnostic operational networks from zero trust to 100% trust.
Read more about benefits of TOSIBOX® OT networking from our Solutions section. 

 

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