Are you playing whack-a-mole with your manufacturing OT networks?

30 October 2023
Information Technology
Tim Horton
Global Change Facilitator

Cybersecurity threats to biopharmaceutical manufacturing are increasing, especially those arising from code vulnerabilities. These threats are also getting more sophisticated and, if successful, will have a greater impact on the production of medicines.

For biopharma, the threats pose some specific questions, such as: Why don’t the IT norms for updates and protection work in the operational technology (OT) domain? And what is driving the increase in cyber risk for manufacturing plants?

These questions and more are discussed in our new paper, Vulnerability management in manufacturing OT networks: are we playing whack-a-mole?

It considers why the threat landscape is changing, offers some ideas about its effective management, and focuses on cybersecurity vulnerability management. It also assesses the challenge of exploitable code and protocol weaknesses and how you can address these.

And do you need information on the differences in the IT and OT domains when managing your security vulnerabilities? It covers that, too. There are also discussions on new approaches to vulnerability management and includes some examples from member companies of the effective management of code vulnerabilities and protocol weaknesses.

Partnering with external organizations – such as vendors, government, and academia – will help you access specialist skills, including building and using cyber labs that can create a test environment to explore better solutions to cybersecurity issues. Similarly, a cybersecurity risk assessment of manufacturing operations is essential to deliver the most cost-effective solutions to handle cybersecurity threats and incidents. Our paper gives you some pointers in these areas, as well.

Biopharma organizations continue to see increased interworking between IT and OT groups and, in some cases, the merging of organizational structures to improve operational effectiveness. For many, these organizational changes are complex and will take time to implement. Until then, the actions outlined in our paper will help you to improve your cyber vigilance and remove or mitigate weaknesses in your existing applications.

For more information, download the paper here and contact Tim Horton, Senior Global Change Facilitator, at

Are you ready for a cyberattack on your OT systems?

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