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Security Breach: The OT Threat Landscape's Infectious Nature

Viewing hacks as diseases to address evolving threats, vulnerabilities and tools like AI.

Like many of you, I recently dove into Verizon’s 2024 Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR).  And while there’s a plethora of data housed in the report that could fuel conversations on a multitude of topics, I chose the following two pieces of information:

  • While credential harvesting and phishing attacks still led the way, the use of exploitable vulnerabilities to access networks tripled from last year, and were primarily leveraged by Ransomware and other Extortion-related threat actors.
  • The reported median time to click on a malicious link after an email is opened is 21 seconds, and then only another 28 seconds for the person caught in the phishing scheme to enter their data. So, basically, a successful phishing attack can be executed in less than 60 seconds. 

These two items caught my eye because they seem like the low-hanging fruit when it comes to cybersecurity. In this episode, Roland Cozzolino, CTO/CIO of InsightCyber, a global provider of asset visibility, risk management and security services delivered via an AI-driven platform, offers his perspective on these types of exploits, as well as:

  • Why state-sponsored hacker groups are his biggest concern.
  • The problems caused by patient hackers and their live-off-the-land, or dwelling approach to network intrusions.
  • How manufacturers can and need to improve their use of AI tools for enhancing visibility, asset management and threat detection.
  • The advantages of designing OT security processes as though you're working in a disease-driven environment.
  • Viewing cybersecurity as less about saving money and more about not losing control of an operation.
  • Developing a strategy that goes beyond just "unplugging the machine".

To catch up on past episodes, you can go to or You can also check Security Breach out wherever you get your podcasts, including Apple, Amazon and Overcast. And if you have a cybersecurity story or topic that you’d like to have us explore on Security Breach, you can reach me at [email protected]

To download our latest report on industrial cybersecurity,  The Industrial Sector’s New Battlefield, click here.

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