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Following a tumultuous year of high-profile cyberattacks on critical infrastructure, Claroty commissioned an independent global survey of IT and operational technology (OT) security professionals who work full time for enterprises that own, operate, or otherwise support components of critical infrastructure, to understand how they have dealt with various disruptions like ransomware, key aspects to resiliency, and policies and priorities moving forward. 

In the survey, 80% of respondents reported that their organization experienced a ransomware attack, with an equal number of respondents reporting that their security budgets have gone up since 2020. This reveals how seriously these organizations are taking the threats they face, and that they’re working to prevent falling victim a second time. Of the 80% who experienced an attack, 60% paid the ransom (half of which cost over $500,000). These numbers show that victim organizations are financially incentivized to pay the ransom — despite the well-known downsides of doing so — rather than incur far greater revenue loss due to operational downtime. 

One of the biggest challenges that these organizations face is proper staffing, as 90% of respondents are looking to hire more OT security staff, but 54% are having trouble finding qualified candidates. Another issue facing the industry is gaps in technology processes — 30% confessed to sharing passwords and only 44% are utilizing a virtual private network (VPN).

Graphic entitled "The Global State of Industrial Cybersecurity 2021: Resilience Amid Disruption." All of the facts that are in this graphic are also contained in the text of the article.

Claroty contracted with Pollfish to conduct a survey of information technology (IT) and operational technology (OT) security professionals in the United States (500), Europe (300), and Asia-Pacific (300). Only individuals who work full time in IT security, OT/industrial control system (ICS) security, or as an OT/ICS engineer or operator completed the survey, for a total of 1,100 respondents. Slightly more than half (55%) of the organizations included have at least $1 billion in revenue.

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Read the full report by Claroty.

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