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Racing Against Risks: The Synergy between OT Security and Horse Racing Strategies


Horse racing and Operational Technology (OT) Risk Management might seem worlds apart, but they share a common thread: the art of managing risk. Both require resilience and a proactive stance backed by a comprehensive knowledge base. Whether it's a horse charging toward the finish line or a critical system defending against threats, success hinges on a strategic blend of preparation and action. 

The Starting Gates 

In both horse racing and OT risk management, understanding the participants and their environments is vital. Knowledge of every horse, jockey and turn of the track finds its counterpart in an OT professional's deep understanding of every asset within a network. This holistic understanding sets the stage for strategic planning that's key to overcoming obstacles. 

OT Risk Management and the Essence of Horse Racing 

OT's hardware and software systems that monitor and control physical processes are crucial to our infrastructure. Like the care given to a thoroughbred, these systems require constant oversight to ensure they perform optimally, free from vulnerabilities that could lead to disasters. 

In horse racing, understanding a horse's condition, the track and the weather conditions is essential for any shot at victory. It's the same with OT—understanding the intricacies of the network and its vulnerabilities allows for the anticipation and mitigation of risks. 

The First Furlong: Comprehensive Asset Inventory 

The first stride in both fields is about knowing what you have—creating an inventory. In horse racing, it's about knowing every detail about the horse's condition and history. This information is critical for proactive management and strategy development. In OT, this involves cataloging and understanding the roles, functions and interaction between assets.

The Backstretch: Vulnerability Management 

Vulnerability management is about staying ahead, anticipating problems before they arise and adapting to changes. In horse racing, it's about regular health checks and training adjustments, ensuring the horse remains in peak condition. For OT, it's a cycle of identifying, evaluating and prioritizing risks.

The Final Turn: Leveraging Technology 

Industry 4.0 and digital transformation are reshaping OT with tools that bring enhanced network cybersecurity visibility. But deep at the heart of OT, where bulk of the assets reside and digital meets physical, Hexagon’s PAS Cyber Integrity® completes the OT inventory and serves as a CMDB for OT assets.  

Similarly, horse racing has adopted tech like sensors and GPS trackers to monitor equine health and optimize training. 

The Homestretch: Implementing a Winning Strategy 

Hexagon PAS Cyber Integrity stands out as the key ingredient, in truly managing OT risk, offering deep visibility into the lowest layers of Industrial Control Systems (ICS) and functioning as a CMDB for OT. It's about equipping OT professionals with the tools they need to safeguard critical infrastructure efficiently and effectively. 

Crossing the Finish Line: Key Takeaways 

  1. Detailed knowledge is the bedrock of risk management. 

  2. Proactive management of vulnerabilities is crucial for security and performance. 

  3. Technological advancement is central to modern risk management. 

  4. Strategic implementation using these technologies is necessary for success. 

  5. Adaptability and improvement are mandatory as threats evolve. 


Navigating OT risks and managing a racehorse both require a deep understanding of capabilities and vulnerabilities, along with a comprehensive approach to risk management. Hexagon PAS Cyber Integrity exemplifies the critical convergence of strategy, knowledge and technology, ensuring that professionals in any high-stakes field can lead with confidence and secure victory. 

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About the Author

Edward Liebig is the Global Director Cyber Ecosystem in Hexagon’s Asset Lifecycle Intelligence division. His career spans over four decades, with over 30 of those years focused on cybersecurity. He has led as Chief Information Security Officer and cybersecurity captain for several multinational companies. He's also led Professional and Managed Security Services for the US critical infrastructure sector for two Global System Integrators. With this unique perspective Edward leads the Cybersecurity Alliances for Hexagon PAS Cyber Integrity. In this role he leverages his diverse experience to forge partnerships with service providers and technologies that drive collective strengths to best address our client’s security needs. Mr. Liebig is an adjunct professor at Washington University in St. Louis and teaches as part of the Master of Cybersecurity Management degree program.

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