Operational Technology

Maintain complete oversight of your operational technology.

Oversight of behaviour

The Stuxnet attack on an Iranian nuclear power plant is perhaps the most fitting and well-known example of a weaponised cyber-attack against industrial operational systems. Malware that had managed to get to the internal systems of the plant altered the behaviour of operational technologies, causing serious damage to Iran’s nuclear development program. The precursor tool used for Stuxnet distribution was called “Flame” and it had an impressive capability to use any Bluetooth-enabled device for infection.

An attack like this can be stopped in its tracks through oversight of behaviour. With Overt AI, even the most subtle changes are reported to personnel as they happen.

The Emergence of Interconnectivity

According to Fortune Business Insights’ 2020 Market Research Report, industry 4.0 is set to reach a global valuation of 337.1 billion USD by 2028.

Operational systems and technologies are rapidly becoming interconnected with each other, their organisation, and wider external networks such as the Internet. Autonomy and control of systems and operational assets is providing organisations with time and cost efficiencies, making them highly attractive investments. The range of application is also extensive, allowing many different implementations of these technologies from personal, in-home use to large-scale military operations.

Operational Technology Application Examples

A smart city exceeds in efficiency and reliability, primarily through interconnected and robust critical infrastructures such as energy, water systems and transportation. Innovation and adoption of operational technologies, data feedback and control networks provide these cities with the capabilities to avoid issues and respond to environmental challenges. This implementation directly facilitates Industry 4.0 and puts urban areas on a trajectory to become more resilient and convenient without the need for direct human intervention.

Energy providers see significant improvements in operational efficiencies from incorporating modern operational technology and IoT integration. Autonomous control over large-scale working assets frees up human resources, minimises human error and accidents, and saves time. Home based energy monitoring provides real-time insight into customer behaviour, facilitating prediction modelling enabling forecasting of energy use.

Innovation in transport services stems from the customer needs for efficiency and reliability. Existing uses such as real-time location, inbound estimates and remote control over hub operational equipment increase the aptitude of services to meet these critical demands.

Industrial and manufacturing contexts are keen to innovate and expand their automated networks. As a result, supervisory and analysis systems for Industry 4.0 environments is shown to be climbing in widespread adoption. Industrial uses streamline and speed-up operations, increasing output while decreasing human intervention.

The military contains many critical infrastructure microcosms across various assets such as aircraft, naval ships and forward operating bases. These systems include everything from robotics to server systems, water, energy systems and more – and the military benefits just as much as the industrial sectors from joining the fourth industrial revolution. An automated and streamlined military with IoT analysis and supervisory systems moves faster, minimises error and is more efficient (part of the MOD’s JCN 1/17 Future Force Concept).

Crucial life support resources such as water and food are reliant on efficiency and connectivity. Following the trend of the other sectors, there is increasing investment into supervisory systems, automating, and controlling working assets. Doing so minimises human resources and time consumption, enabling increases in scale and reliability. This increased efficiency also strengthens public and government trust in the backbone of their society.

The Problems

Interconnectivity, autonomy and broad control of operational systems and physical mechanics provides users with efficiencies and mastery like never before. In tandem, the likelihood of attempts being made to breach and compromise these assets is increasing.

Attackers are attracted to these supervisory control systems and automated equipment to access more information, grab more power over the operation and cause comparatively massive amounts of damage. As these technologies are new and developing, security measures are a step behind, trying to catch up. While some cybersecurity solutions are tackling these applications, there aren’t many products that take radio frequency spectrum activity into account. There is a wide range of industries adopting IoT and new operational machinery at a fast pace. Many of these are interconnected. A severe attack on one player can have a knock-on effect reaching far beyond immediate stakeholders. This scenario is particularly poignant in critical infrastructure contexts like the energy, water, and agriculture settings.

Beyond intentional foul play, unknowing actors, accidental misuse, or malfunction through misconfiguration is also a possibility. Without instant awareness of anomalous activity, we are likely to incur severe damage to business operations, national security, economic wellbeing and potentially lose lives. Securing these systems across a diversity of industry and situations is particularly challenging when faced with upholding varying and strict regulatory conditions.

Our Solution

Keep Your Operation in Your Hands

Get ahead of the threat through precise monitoring and situational awareness of the radio frequency activity in your environment to ensure that you see an attack incoming and not after it has already happened. Overt AI offers a cost-effective means of complete and detailed live coverage and account of your equipment’s behaviour. Much like the use-case for IoT monitoring, any unauthorized abnormalities in behaviour are made apparent. Identifying any operational changes as they happen is a significant advantage in thwarting any attempts of inflicting damage or operational malfunction.

Use Overt AI to get ahead of maintenance issues, repair costs and time consumption by identifying the onset of problems invisible to the human eye before they snowball.


Get in touch and find out more about how Overt AI can help.