That artificial realm made up of computing resources that William Gibson coined in 1981 with the name of “cyberspace”, is giving pass, today, to a new scenario in which the former starts to lose part of its ethereal nature to merge with the landscape of real: it is the “cyber-physical space”, a place in which actions performed in the virtual world have direct -commonly serious- consequences over the real one.
That said, if cyber-physical space materializes somewhere, clearly, it is in the domain of industrial automation and control systems; those ones used in the control and monitoring of [physical] production processes, common in manufacturing environments. (Despite being such systems also present in construction -i.e., smart buildings-, information technology -i.e., datacenters-, medicine -i.e., drug dispatching robots-, etc.). Moreover, consequences of incidents -being provoked or incidental- happening in the new cyber-physical spaces, far from being new, are similar to those older ones affecting people, assets and environment, that the hand of mankind has caused always, even prior to the advent of the digital era.
Therefore, in these realms in which the confluence of physical and cyber spaces is more and more threatened, organizations should prioritize adequately the management of risk. A first way to do so would be by taking out the coverage of a cyber insurance policy. Another one, by having always in mind the cybersecurity requirements of a specific industrial facility during its whole service life -from its inception to its closure or substitution-. And, finally, a third way, compatible with the two mentioned above, could be promoting awareness among cybersecurity stakeholders: INCIBE will try to keep doing so after closing a content generation service contract with a new provider; CCI, too, by launching a brand new paper series regarding smart operational technology.
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