This report was written by 451 Research analyst, Patrick Daly.

For some time, the need for security in industrial control systems (ICS) was poorly understood as operational technology (OT) network operators clung to the notion that their environments were protected by the air gap separating the organization’s IT network from the ICS network. However, the continued deployment of IT connectivity and communications technologies in ICS environments – such as wireless sensors that can be deployed in remote locations to monitor equipment performance and the ability to remotely monitor and manage system configuration – combined with the recent growth in ICS-specific threats, has forced ICS operators to begin taking security seriously. This is reflected in a recent 451 Research Voice of the Enterprise: IoT, the OT Perspective 2H 2018 survey in which we asked OT decision-makers to highlight the largest barrier to implementing an industrial IoT initiative in their organization; 25% of OT respondents at utilities organizations cited security concerns as their single largest barrier to implementing new Internet of Things (IoT) initiatives in their operational environments, along with 23% of manufacturing respondents and 19% of oil and gas respondents. Security was the most-cited barrier across utilities and manufacturing and the third-most-cited in oil and gas, coming one percentage point from technology deployment challenges and lack of in-house skills.