Podcast: Episode #25 - Mollie Breen: Accelerating OT Security, Reliability and Efficiency

July 20, 2023

Mollie Breen on Navigating the Complexities of OT Security

In a recent episode of PrOTect OT, Mollie Breen, the dynamic founder and CEO of Perygee, sat down to discuss her journey into the realm of OT (Operational Technology) security. Formerly associated with the NSA (National Security Agency), Mollie pivoted her expertise from focusing on the Internet of Things (IoT) at the agency to creating her own venture. Perygee aims to relieve organizations from the intricacies of securing non-traditional IoT devices, offering comprehensive yet user-friendly solutions.

Resource Imbalances and OT Challenges

In her extensive interactions across the digital landscape, Mollie consistently pinpoints a significant concern: the glaring imbalance between resources dedicated to traditional IT and the burgeoning field of OT security. While IoT devices continue their meteoric rise, there's a paradoxical scarcity of dedicated OT security staff. Industries like oil and gas present an even more skewed picture, with the device ratio leaning towards IoT. The digital era, supercharged by events like the global pandemic, demands a reconsideration of security priorities.

Redefining OT Security: Identification and Management

Driven by her mission, Mollie's strategy is dual-pronged, focusing on robust identification processes and streamlined management in the OT domain. She believes in achieving comprehensive visibility, ensuring that every IoT and OT device—active or dormant—is under the security radar. On the management aspect, her vision embraces the power of intelligent automation. Recognizing the prevalent wariness surrounding automation in sensitive OT scenarios, Mollie is an advocate for solutions that are both adaptable and intuitive. By harnessing automation for traditionally tedious tasks, she aims to revolutionize operational efficiencies without compromising an iota on security.

Demystifying Airgapping

One of Mollie's missions is to debunk prevailing myths in the OT realm. A standout example is the concept of airgapping—a notion suggesting complete isolation of a computer or network. With her vast experience, Mollie underlines the realities of our interconnected digital age, emphasizing the need for a holistic security approach that accounts for every potential node and connection.

A Confluence of Data, Automation, and Intuition

With an academic foundation in mathematics and a penchant for machine learning, Mollie Breen's approach seamlessly melds data analytics, cutting-edge technology, and human discernment. She envisions translating intricate data into formats that resonate with human understanding, making the vast realm of OT systems more accessible. A testament to her innovative approach is her ability to transform routine processes. By employing modern techniques, she showcases how time and resource-intensive tasks can be revamped, achieving both heightened security and unprecedented efficiency.

For more from Mollie Breen and her transformative insights in OT security, listen to full episode here.