The cybersecurity of industrial systems is becoming a hot topic in today’s headlines. Since connectivity to external networks is being increased significantly, security is becoming the priority in industrial IT and Operational Technology (OT). Many organizations don’t have a reliable cyber defense against their OT assets.
Recently, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) and the National Security Agency (NSA) have issued an Alert (AA20-205A) to urge all National Security Systems (NSS), Department of Defense (DoD), Defense Industrial Base (DIB), and other U.S critical infrastructure to take immediate action to secure their OT assets.
In this article, we will detail 4 guide to strong OT security. If your organization needs a strong OT security, then read on.
What is OT Security?
Gartner defines OT security as, “Practices and technologies used to:
- Protect people, assets, and information,
- Monitor or/and control physical events, devices, processes,
- Initiate state changes to organization’s OT systems.”
In other words, OT security is the practice of using hardware and software technologies to monitor, detect, and control changes to processes, events, and devices. The purpose behind using OT security is to protect industrial systems and networks such as smart city appliances, transportation networks, and power stations.
4 Step Guide to Stronger OT Security
The following sections elaborate 4 step guide that all security professionals should focus on to protect their OT assets most effectively.
1. Creating Inventory and Identifying OT Vulnerabilities
In this stage, OT experts are required to establish an accurate OT asset inventory with baselines for each. A complete network map is also required to map all inbound and outbound communication. A complete assessment should be made to identify vulnerability to OT assets and security controls required to mitigate those risks.
2. Acquiring Automated Threat Intelligence Feeds with SOAR
Threat intelligence data provides valuable information regarding threats. Today, threat intelligence feeds are available, including industry, governmental, and commercial feeds. However, one of the important concerns is converting such intelligence feeds into actionable intelligence. To this end, OT security professionals should deploy automated threat ingestion capabilities in network monitoring solutions. We can achieve automation through Security Orchestration, Automation, and Response (SOAR) tool.
3. Information Sharing and Leveraging Integrations
If you are proactively monitoring your OT environments through a Logsign SOAR solution, you will be able to collect vital information about security, networking, and operational events. Your company might involve different stakeholders such as partners, customers, or outsourcers. You need to decide whom will you share the information that you have collected during the previous phase (2). You also need to leverage bi-directional integrations between security solutions to effectively implement this step and reduce the Mean Time to Response (MTTR).
Creating an optimal back of OT data is a vital approach that can ensure data availability even after the data breach. To this end, first, create a back copy of the OT data and then perform a test restore to ensure that the entire backup system and restore system is working properly and accurately.
OT systems are largely being used in industrial environments and cybersecurity has become their main issue. However, you can avoid and mitigate OT threats by proactively identifying, classifying, and monitoring your OT infrastructure.
To proactively identifying, you are required to use a Threat Hunting technique. You can use automated threat hunting using a Logsign SOAR system.