Traditionally, IT and operational technology (OT) networks are separate functions with different priorities ‘Confidentiality and Privacy’ versus ‘Safety and Availability’. Today’s industrial world is experiencing the convergence between OT, the operations needed to carry out the industrial processes, and IT, the use of computers to manage data needed by the organisation’s enterprise processes.
The Convergence of OT and IT Networks
The integration of OT and IT networks presents various benefits such as enhanced operational efficiency, optimised resource utilisation, and reduced costs. Nevertheless, this integration also poses new challenges, especially the need for strong cyber security measures for Industrial Control Systems (ICS).
The constantly changing threat landscape and the deployment of sophisticated attack methods emphasise the significance of improving OT and ICS cyber security capabilities. Since OT was not initially developed for IP network connectivity, ensuring cyber security necessitates partnering with reliable vendors who possess extensive experience in safeguarding critical infrastructures worldwide.
In order to establish a strong protection plan for OT and ICS, it is crucial to conduct a thorough identification and mapping of all network assets, connections, ports, and devices. This meticulous assessment allows for the identification of any vulnerabilities or exposures, with a focus on evaluating the severity and potential impact if compromised.
Our team of experienced security professionals employs cutting-edge methodologies and techniques to provide the highest quality assessment. After the assessment, our clients receive a detailed report that encompasses all gathered information, analysis findings, and a tailored cyber security plan that meets their specific organisational needs.
Implementing the ISA/IEC 62443 standard for Industrial Automation and Control System (IACS) domains relies on a core element known as the Cyber Security Management System (CSMS). The CSMS empowers organisations to maintain control over their cyber security and is effective for companies of all sizes.
Developing and implementing a CSMS requires a structured and phased approach, taking into account factors such as requirements, available resources, and the size of the organisation. This ensures a thorough and efficient implementation process that aligns with the organisation's cyber security objectives.
Safeguarding your OT and IT Networks
Cyber risks must be now firmly included in the risk register to effectively manage OT and IT networks. The emergence of high-profile destructive malware, such as Stuxnet, Shamoon, and Black Energy 3, has brought attention to the critical cyber risks faced by OT and ICS.
Furthermore, since late 2018, cybercriminals have started incorporating wiper elements into their attacks, as seen in new strains of ransomware like LockerGoga and MegaCortex. These attacks often begin through phishing emails, theft of credentials required to access internal networks, watering hole attacks, or compromising third-party suppliers with connections to the intended target.
Given the widespread disruption caused by cyber-attacks on ICS, security vulnerabilities in this area cannot be ignored. These attacks have a direct impact on production facilities worldwide, resulting in significant downtime, compromised patient safety, and financial losses. It is crucial to address these vulnerabilities proactively to safeguard critical infrastructure and mitigate potential consequences.
Business Rationale for OT Cyber Security
The business justification for embracing OT cyber security controls lies in recognising the significance of the cyber-attack threat as an essential factor when assessing the risks linked to operational disruptions.
What potential negative impacts can a cyber-attack have on your organisation?