IoT/IIoT Device Management , Cybersecurity , Technology

AI in OT: Opportunities and Challenges

Sithembile Songo of Eskom on AI's Role in Securing the OT Environment
Sithembile Songo, group head of information security, Eskom

AI has enhanced security in critical infrastructure, but integrating AI with legacy systems in OT environments presents challenges, said Sithembile Songo, group head of information security at Eskom, a utilities company in South Africa.

See Also: 2024 Gartner® Magic Quadrant™ for Security Service Edge (SSE)

Due to the complexities of the OT environment, companies must take a cautious approach when implementing AI. "The OT environment was not designed with security in mind. So you need to ... make sure that you are a step ahead. You apply the network segregation rules," said Songo.

In addition to putting basic controls in place, using AI to counter AI-enabled attacks is crucial. "If you don't leverage AI, it means that these AI-enabled cyberattacks will bypass your traditional controls."

She recommended putting in layers of defense - including MFA, zero trust strategy and XDR - before implementing AI tools.

In this video interview with Information Security Media Group, Songo discussed:

  • How AI and ML enhance visibility and response in critical infrastructure;
  • How automation addresses the global shortage of cybersecurity resources.
  • How AI helps detect and respond to threats early in the cyber kill chain.

Songo has more than 20 years of experience in cyber and the information security field. She has played a pivotal role in developing, implementing, delivering, leading and managing various information and cybersecurity initiatives including cyber and information security strategy and program, CISO services, vulnerability assessments and information security awareness strategy and program.

About the Author

Suparna Goswami

Suparna Goswami

Associate Editor, ISMG

Goswami has more than 10 years of experience in the field of journalism. She has covered a variety of beats including global macro economy, fintech, startups and other business trends. Before joining ISMG, she contributed for Forbes Asia, where she wrote about the Indian startup ecosystem. She has also worked with UK-based International Finance Magazine and leading Indian newspapers, such as DNA and Times of India.

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