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Demand For Protection For OT Devices Grows: The Future Of Industries Seeks Efficient And Secure Solution



Palo Alto Networks makes AI-Powered OT Security easy to adopt. New Zero Trust OT Security solution secures critical infrastructure without additional sensors

Operational technology (OT) plays a significant role in the digital evolution process of companies in the industrial and manufacturing sectors, they monitor and control physical processes, such as production control systems, process automation, temperature, pressure and motion sensors, and industrial robotics.

The usage and connectivity of operational technology (OT) are rapidly growing as are the number of cyberattacks on OT environments. These attacks can disrupt operations, causing damage that can reach far beyond revenue and reputation to the supply chain, human safety, and critical infrastructure. OT devices can be hard to secure because many lack built-in security and were not designed to be patched.

In addition, high uptime requirements limit the ability to do regular security maintenance. OT environments are also at risk as organizations adopt new technologies like 5G, which enable mass connectivity, and open up remote access.

Zero Trust technology and security

Zero Trust technology is a network security strategy where no user or device on or off an organization’s network is granted access to connect to systems unless explicitly required.

According to the global survey “What’s Next in Cyber” by Unit 42, the research arm of Palo Alto Networks, for 29% and 28% of the IT leaders interviewed, the main benefit of a Zero Trust structure is the best adjustments that guarantee initiatives digital transformation and higher levels of overall security. The survey also revealed that among the challenges respondents face with regard to the Zero Trust framework is the lack of qualified vendors with a complete, integrated solution and the scarcity of tools for enterprise-wide deployment.

Industries such as manufacturing, energy, construction, agriculture, and supply chain are always in need of new solutions to keep up with changes in the market, which is why Palo Alto Networks introduces Zero Trust OT Security to better protect operational technology systems and devices. The new solution protects environments and industrial devices connected to 5G.

“Most OT security solutions in the market fall short because they can’t identify all the assets and can only alert but don’t prevent threats. This leads to a patchwork of siloed security technologies, which can lead to security gaps,” said Anand Oswal, SVP, network security at Palo Alto Networks. Our OT Security solution is designed to help organizations stay secure through granular visibility and effective inline security while meeting their availability and uptime requirements.”

The new protection tool from Palo Alto Networks

Cybersecurity issues are often managed one issue at a time, resulting in security teams trying to protect companies with multiple security technologies siled, which can lead to security breaches.

A key component of the solution is the new cloud-delivered Industrial OT Security service, which can be easily enabled — without the need to install additional sensors — by any of the 61,000+ active customers of Palo Alto Networks network security products: hardware and software Next-Generation Firewalls (NGFW) and Prisma SASE. Built on an AI-powered foundation with ease of deployment in mind, the new solution enables customers to secure their OT environments from the most sophisticated threats while simplifying their operations.

Using the industry’s first ML-powered OT visibility engine, the Industrial OT Security service recognizes hundreds of unique OT device profiles, over 1,000 OT/Industrial Control System (ICS) applications, and has hundreds of distinct OT threat signatures to help protect these hard-to-secure assets. A notable feature of the service is its ability to help security teams proactively understand risk and apply controls. It continuously observes, categorizes and visualizes asset behavior so anomalies can be discovered immediately and addressed with firewall policy.

The Zero Trust OT Security solution secures multiple OT use cases with consistent Zero Trust policies, all managed centrally:
– OT assets and networks using Palo Alto Networks NGFWs, along with the new Industrial OT Security service.
– Remote access using Prisma SASE.
– 5G-connected devices using NGFWs with Palo Alto Networks 5G-Native Security.

“As industrial OT systems and IT systems become more interconnected, so does the size of the attack surface available to the adversary. Defending against increasingly sophisticated threats requires expanded security strategies that can provide visibility, context, and Zero Trust capabilities across both OT and IT networks, devices, applications, and users,” said Dave Gruber, principal analyst, Enterprise Strategy Group. “The Palo Alto Networks solution embraces this unified security model, promising to help protect complex OT environments.”

“Manufacturing has come into the crosshairs of many recent cyberattacks. Palo Alto Networks Industrial OT Security is a must have to ensure security best practices are in place,” said Jared Mendenhall, director, Information Security, Impossible Foods. “We look forward to Palo Alto Networks’ dedicated OT Security solution to help us further secure our manufacturing plant, remote operations, and realize our broader Zero Trust vision.”

Palo Alto Networks Zero Trust OT Security solution and Industrial OT Security service will be available in March.

About Palo Alto Networks
Palo Alto Networks is the world’s cybersecurity leader. We innovate to outpace cyberthreats, so organizations can embrace technology with confidence. We provide next-gen cybersecurity to thousands of customers globally, across all sectors. Our best-in-class cybersecurity platforms and services are backed by industry-leading threat intelligence and strengthened by state-of-the-art automation. Whether deploying our products to enable the Zero Trust Enterprise, responding to a security incident, or partnering to deliver better security outcomes through a world-class partner ecosystem, we’re committed to helping ensure each day is safer than the one before. It’s what makes us the cybersecurity partner of choice.

At Palo Alto Networks, we’re committed to bringing together the very best people in service of our mission, so we’re also proud to be the cybersecurity workplace of choice, recognized among Newsweek’s Most Loved Workplaces (2021 and 2022), Comparably Best Companies for Diversity (2021), and HRC Best Places for LGBTQ Equality (2022). For more information, visit

Palo Alto Networks, Prisma, and the Palo Alto Networks logo are registered trademarks of Palo Alto Networks, Inc. in the United States and in jurisdictions throughout the world. All other trademarks, trade names, or service marks used or mentioned herein belong to their respective owners. Any unreleased services or features (and any services or features not generally available to customers) referenced in this or other press releases or public statements are not currently available (or are not yet generally available to customers) and may not be delivered when expected or at all. Customers who purchase Palo Alto Networks applications should make their purchase decisions based on services and features currently generally available.

The Palo Alto Networks Survey was conducted by Wakefield Research ( among 1.300 executives (CIOs, CISOs, CTOs, CSOs, and COOs) at large companies (those with $250M+ in revenue) in the following countries: US, Canada, U.K, France, Germany, Netherlands, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Mexico, Japan, Singapore, India, Australia, and New Zealand, between July 26th and August 16th, 2022, using an email invitation and an online survey.

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Five Firms Sign on to JAMPRO’s Technology Accelerator Project



Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Senator the Hon. Aubyn Hill (standing, second left) looks on as Operations Manager, Port Computer Services Limited, Kay Wilson Kelly, (seated, second left), signs the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signifying her company’s participation in the inaugural Technology Innovation District (TID) Accelerator Project, during a press launch held on Tuesday (March 14) at the corporate offices of Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO) in Kingston. Also observing the proceedings are (from left, seated) Programme Director, Global Services Sector Project (GSSP), Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO), Marjorie Straw; President, JAMPRO, Shullette Cox; Vice President, Marketing, JAMPRO, Gabriel Herron; (and standing from left) Chief of Operations, Inter- American Development Bank (IDB), Lorenzo Escondeur; TID Accelerator Zone Manager, Tastey Blackman; and VP, Sales and Promotions, JAMPRO, Norman Naar.

Five technology firms have signed on to the Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO) accelerator project, which aims to build the capacity of local entities to access business opportunities in overseas markets and grow their revenue.

These are Bluedot Insights, MC Systems, Smart Mobile Solutions, ResolveIT Service Centre, and Port Computer Services Limited.

A total of 20 participants are targeted for the first cohort of the Technology Innovation District (TID) Accelerator Project, which is targeting entities in niche sectors such as software development, digital services management, cybersecurity, and mobile and web app development.

It is being undertaken under component two of the Global Services Sector Project (GSSP) and is geared towards enabling Jamaica to advance further along the global digital services value chain, support the growth of businesses, and achieve sustainable economic growth for the country through the export of digital services.

Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Senator the Hon. Aubyn Hill, in his remarks at the launch held at JAMPRO’s corporate offices in Kingston on Tuesday (March 14), said the programme seeks to establish Jamaica as the global services destination of choice.

“The launch of the TID Accelerator Project will help Jamaica diversify and strengthen our export of services at a higher level in the value chain…The country has made significant progress with BPO (business process outsourcing) and global digital services. It will continue to be a factor that we must (improve upon),” he noted.

President of JAMPRO, Shullette Cox, said the key objective of the project is to strengthen the institutional capacity of select global digital services firms to attract investments and increase exports.

“The technology accelerator project seeks to establish an ecosystem to support the development of tech companies that are scalable, ready for acceleration, so that they may be able to successfully deliver exportable digital services,” she noted.

She said that the project is a critical pillar under the GSSP, which is aimed at promoting growth in the sector, particularly in higher-value segments.

TID Accelerator Zone Manager, Tastey Blackman, in her remarks, said the initiative will enable participating firms to scale their operations and gain access to international markets.

“The vision of the TID is really to help our local tech firms achieve their corporate goals and to grow their businesses and to expand into exports of services. Our mission is really to provide the enabling capacity to build the firms, close gaps and get [them] ready to take on the bigger, wider, international markets,” she explained.

Under the project, which is free of cost to tech firms, participants will receive customised coaching, mentoring, training, and exposure to international markets through business missions, particularly to North America, which is a key market targeted under the initiative.

These international entities would have already been evaluated to determine their level of interest in doing business with and outsourcing tech work to Jamaican companies.

The TID Accelerator Project is being executed by JAMPRO under a five-year loan from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) as part of strategic interventions to promote growth of the GSSP.

Participating firms will undergo a needs assessment to determine gaps, and from that assessment, a business profile will be developed along with capacity-building activities to address these issues.

The programme will be delivered via a virtual platform.

Entities must be registered in Jamaica, tax compliant, have been in operation for at least three years, and have a minimum of five employees in the organisation.

For registration and other information, persons can visit JAMPRO’s website at

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UK-Based Entity to Provide Forensic Audit Services for SSL Probe



The United Kingdom (UK)-based Kroll Associates will be providing forensic audit investigative services to the Financial Investigations Division (FID) in the entity’s probe of the Stocks and Securities Limited (SSL) matter.

“Kroll will bring leading-edge technology that will support the FID in unravelling all aspects of this 13-year fraud and bringing co-conspirators and accomplices to justice,”

The development follows the signing of a Statement of Work by Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Dr. the Hon. Nigel Clarke, and representatives of Kroll this morning (March 7).

“Kroll will bring leading-edge technology that will support the FID in unravelling all aspects of this 13-year fraud and bringing co-conspirators and accomplices to justice,” Dr. Clarke said, while opening the 2023/24 Budget Debate in the House of Representatives this afternoon.

The signing of the agreement with Kroll follows the Minister writing to and collaborating with the Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office of the UK.

Dr. Clarke noted that the British Government, which has long supported the FID, has offered to cover some of the initial costs of this engagement, with the Government of Jamaica providing the balance.

Dr. Clarke also implored Jamaicans not to jump to conclusions on the SSL matter but to await the outcome of the investigations.

He said that a formidable team of highly capable local law-enforcement professionals from multiple agencies supported by foreign investigative capacity is on the case.

“The Government will not carry out this investigation. That is the work of the investigative authorities, but our policy directions are clear. We will get to the bottom of this matter, and we will continue to keep the people of Jamaica informed, whatever the outcome,” Dr. Clarke pledged.

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Jamaican Gov’t Provides Incentives to Boost JAM-DEX Use



In the upcoming fiscal year, the Government will introduce two new incentive programmes to encourage greater take-up of the Central Bank Digital Currency, JAM-DEX.

They are the Small/Micro Merchant Incentive Programme and the Wallet-holder Individual Loyalty Programme.

Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Dr. the Hon. Nigel Clarke, provided details while opening the 2023/24 Budget Debate in the House of Representatives on March 7.

JAM-DEX provides a safe, efficient, and convenient way to pay for goods and services. Currently, the National Commercial Bank offers JAM-DEX through LYNK®, which is its digital wallet.

For the Small Merchant JAM-DEX Incentive Programme, Dr. Clarke explained the first 10,000 merchants onboarded as of April 1, 2023 will receive $25,000 of JAM-DEX upon registration and onboarding.

These are small merchants, who operate in industries such as restaurants, gas stations, and personal-care services.

To qualify as a merchant, the following documents will be required: Business Registration Certificate and Certificate of Incorporation; proof of bank account anywhere, including a Low Know Your Customer account; and Valid Tax Compliance Certificate or evidence of application, if expired.

Merchants who are on-boarded will also receive a ‘JAM-DEX Accepted Here’ sticker for display at their locations.

Meanwhile, for the Wallet Holder – Individuals Loyalty Programme, users of JAM-DEX will receive loyalty points that can be redeemed for select purposes, including receiving cash back.

Dr. Clarke said effective April 1, 2023, consumers with JAM-DEX wallets, existing and new, will receive two per cent on total purchases for goods and services in JAM-DEX, up to a maximum spend of $5,000.

The loyalty funds earned will be applied to the user’s wallet at the end of each month.

Dr. Clarke said the incentives are applicable only for financial year 2023/24 and encouraged individuals and small businesses to sign up for the initiatives.

Furthermore, he said the Low Know Your Customer (KYC) initiative will be extended for a further year.

Through the programme, the first 60,000 customers who sign up for a Low KYC account at any commercial bank after April 1, 2023, will receive a grant from the Government of $2,500 into that account.

A total of 100,000 customers are being targeted under the incentive, which was launched last year. As at end of February 2023, only 36,000 customers under the initiative.

The Bank of Jamaica implemented the phased national roll-out of JAM-DEX in 2022, with the objective of facilitating greater financial inclusion and support Jamaica’s transformation into a digital economy.

As of February 18, 2023, the total number of JAM-DEX customers onboarded by Lynk was 190,000, comprising 185,410 individuals, 90 small merchants, and 4,500 micro merchants.

The total JAM-DEX transaction activity for 2022 was valued at $357 million.

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Glen Christian Pledges US$1M Towards STEM Centre, Urges Private Sector To Follow And Invest



Private-sector entities are being encouraged to invest in the establishment of a national Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Centre, which will prepare students to compete on a global scale.

The move aligns with Government’s efforts to establish six STEM academies across the island.

Chairman of Cari-Med Group of companies, Glen Christian, in making the call, said that the “Government cannot do it alone”.

“As businesspersons, it is in our own self-interest to support these efforts, not as a charity but as an investment,” he said.

Mr. Christian was speaking at a ceremony to officially launch the new Cari-Med distribution centre in Bernard Lodge, St. Catherine, on Friday (January 27), which was attended by Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness.

Mr. Christian and Chairman of the National Baking Company (NBC) Foundation, Gary “Butch” Hendrickson, are spearheading a ‘STEM for Growth’ taskforce, which aims to entrench STEM education in the education system, including building the STEM centre.

Mr. Christian said his Foundation is currently sourcing 10 acres of land to construct the centre and purchase equipment, which is estimated to cost approximately US$45 million.

Mr. Christian, jointly with his wife, have pledged US$1 million towards the centre.

“This proposed national STEM centre will coordinate with teachers’ colleges across the island to train teachers to deliver a STEM-based curriculum. It will also train specialist teachers for the STEM academies, which are being established by the Government,” Mr. Christian said.

He informed that focus will be placed on teachers because they have a “multiplier effect”.

“By providing training and incentives for STEM teachers, we will begin to improve our children’s performance in science and mathematics, promote hands-on learning for children of all ages and give them the opportunity to apply what they are learning to real-life situations,” he said.

Prime Minister Holness led a landmarking ceremony for the first Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Mathematics (STEAM) Academy in Dunbeholden, St. Catherine, in October.

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Nationwide Implementation Of Fully Digitised Traffic Ticket Management System (TTMS) In Jamaica.



The Ministry of National Security has handed over 750 Traffic Ticket Management System (TTMS) handsets and 750 mobile handheld printers to the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF).

This is the first instalment of devices towards nationwide implementation of the fully digitised ticketing system.

The ceremony was held today (January 19), at the Office of the Commissioner of Police in St. Andrew.

Smart android devices and portable printers are to be used to facilitate the electronic issuance of traffic tickets and allow for electronic recording of tickets.

This will enable police officers to reference driver and vehicle information, including ticket history, outstanding tickets, and warrants.

In his address, National Security Minister, Hon. Dr. Horace Chang, said the TTMS replaces the yellow ticket book, which was inefficient and prone to errors.

“The system itself was riddled with challenges. The technology identified 21 points of failure in our ticketing system,” he said, noting that these include poor penmanship, which affected the legibility of tickets, data entry errors, late submission of tickets, among other things.

The initiative was piloted in Kingston and St. Andrew between January 1 and March 31, 2022 with 70 devices and yielded a 90 per cent error reduction.

“This sends the signal that the pilot worked and worked well. We are now going to execute… . We are going to give enough police officers to take it islandwide, and we will continue to take it islandwide,” Dr. Chang informed.

The TTMS is a centralised, web-based platform designed to improve traffic-ticket management from the point of issuance to either payment of the fines at tax offices or adjudication in court.

All traffic tickets issued with the devices will instantly be uploaded to a centralised database, which is accessible to the JCF, the traffic courts, and all other government agencies.

The Minister noted that the Smart Check E-Ticketing System will be used along with the TTMS. The Smart Check system provides officers with the ability to issue a printed ticket on the spot with information of the offence, fine, court date, and other information.

The system also allows for officers to instantly check motorists if they are persons of interest or wanted, as well as information pertaining to fitness, registration, insurance, and other personal data.

Commissioner of Police, Major General Antony Anderson, said the initiative forms part of efforts to digitise policing activities, as well as to improve public order and traffic management.

“We are equipping our officers and modernising how we do business, not just in this area but in a number of other areas. The significant number of devices being added and with a lot of information at the fingertips of our officers [we will be able to] better keep people safe and keep all road users safe from harm,” he said.

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