What is Operational Technology (OT)?
“Operational Technology” (OT) is any technology - hardware and software - that detects or causes a change, through the direct monitoring and/or control of industrial equipment, assets, processes and events. It is used in large industrial applications and the technology and equipment can be found in manufacturing, transportation, energy, and utility companies.
OT hardware and software systems are used to automate technical and industrial tasks.
Why a Separate OT Scanner?
OT systems can be highly sensitive to queries the way typical IT scanning systems query computers and servers. The typical IT scanner may overload an OT system with query requests and cause catastrophic system failures.
Lansweeper’s OT scanner will first detect the type of OT system discovered. This knowledge will then be used to know the best ways to query the system; ports, timing, and query type. This is the safest way to gather information from these sensitive systems to prevent failures.
Components of an OT installation
A Lansweeper OT installation consists of an OT Hub, one or more sensors, an update service and a Lansweeper Site sync.
The OT Hub service runs the OT Lansweeper interface. Through this interface, you can change settings and view OT Asset data. The OT Hub service is also responsible for receiving data from the sensors and writing it to an underlying SQLite database.
The sensor service is what actually scans the OT devices and sends the scanned data back to the OT Hub. It can be installed on one or more machines.
The update service is responsible for keeping the Hub and sensor(s) of the OT installation up to date. It is automatically installed on any machine on which a Hub and/or sensor is installed.
The Lansweeper site sync will copy all of your data to your Lansweeper site. The syncing of your content can federate your OT data with your IT data, making it easier to manage both environments from a single interface.
The OT Hub explained
The OT Hub functions separately from Lansweeper Classic and/or Site. It can be seen as a combination of the web console and the database into one. The OT Hub will both visualize and hold the data on-premises and is responsible for aggregating the data from one or several sensors and syncing the scanned OT data to Lansweeper Site.
If you have air-gapped hubs, you can transfer that information to a connected hub to have a complete visualization in a unique tool.
The sensor service explained
The sensor works via Selective Probing, which balances recording communication with active scanning to reduce risks. You can fully control the scanning process at a granular level to ensure it doesn't interfere with the production environment (active scanning can be too intrusive for an OT environment). You do so by requesting to scan specific protocols for specific devices.
To learn more about Operational Technology, you can visit these pages:
- ☝️How to install Lansweeper OT
- ☝️How to scan your OT environment
- ☝️How to transfer OT data between hubs