Demystifying OT Cybersecurity Solutions: A Step-by-Step Guide to Finding Your Perfect Fit

   May 27, 2024 | Radiflow team

Operational Technology (OT) cybersecurity is critical for protecting industrial systems, including manufacturing, energy, transportation, maritime, and other infrastructures. With the convergence of IT and OT and the rapid expansion of IIoT, securing these environments is more complex – and urgent – than ever. 

Radiflow works with OT customers around the world, accompanying them on their cybersecurity journey. We have constructed this brief guide to help others navigate the process of selecting the right OT cybersecurity solution for their organizations. For a deeper dive, please see our ebook, What to Consider When Choosing an OT Security Solution.

Step 1: Understand Your OT Environment

Before you can choose the right cybersecurity solution, you need to thoroughly understand your OT environment. This involves:

  • Mapping Your Assets: Identify all hardware and software components, including PLCs, SCADA systems, HMI, and IoT devices. Special attention should be paid to legacy assets (that are usually unprotected) and internet-facing assets (exposed to the outside).
  • Assessing Network Architecture: Understand the network topology, including segmentation and communication protocols used. As architecture changes frequently, an updated, easy-to-understand display of the network should be created regularly.  
  • Evaluating Operational Processes: Identify critical processes and their dependencies on OT systems.

Step 2: Identify Potential Threats and Vulnerabilities

Understanding the specific threats and vulnerabilities in your OT environment is crucial. This can be accomplished by:

  • Conducting an initial Risk Assessment: Identify potential threats, such as malware, insider threats, and physical attacks. The assessment should be based on real data from the actual ICS network. It must be unobtrusive to your operation, so it will be employ a breach and attack simulation performed on a digital twin of the network or some portion of it.  
  • Performing Vulnerability Assessments: Use tools and services to scan for vulnerabilities in your OT systems.
  • Reviewing Historical Incidents: Analyze past security incidents to identify patterns and recurring issues.

Step 3: Define Your Security Requirements

Based on your understanding of your OT environment and its vulnerabilities, define your security requirements. Consider the following:

  • Regulatory Compliance: Ensure your solution meets industry-specific regulations and standards, such as NIS2, NIST CSF, IEC 62443, and GDPR.
  • Industry Best Practices: Beyond pertinent regulations, adopt best security practices for your industry. Join communities and share information with your peers. 
  • Operational Continuity: The proper solution does not disrupt your critical processes.
  • Scalability and Flexibility: The solution should accommodate future growth and changes in your OT environment.

Step 4: Explore OT Cybersecurity Solutions

With your requirements in mind, explore available OT cybersecurity solutions. Key categories include:

  • Network Security: Solutions like firewalls, threat-detection systems, and network segmentation tools.
  • Asset Security: Tools to protect individual devices through cloaking and other mechanisms.
  • Security Monitoring: Solutions for continuous monitoring, threat detection, including Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) and Security Operations Centers (SOCs).
  • Incident Response: Monitoring solutions should aid in the collection of relevant data for rapid forensics and damage analysis that will aid in the prompt stoppage of attacks before they can spread. Regulations like NIS2 have introduced rigorous incident reporting procedures. The solutions should also help your organization to comply with such regulations. 
  • Risk Management: A good solution automatically discovers and learns key risk indicators and accurately evaluates security posture and risk per site and overall. It determines how to direct the OT security budget to maximize the effectiveness of threat-mitigation measures.

Step 5: Evaluate Solution Providers

Evaluate potential solution providers based on the following criteria:

  • Industry Experience: Choose providers with a proven track record in OT cybersecurity.
  • Integration Capabilities: Ensure that the solution can integrate seamlessly with relevant existing systems such as SIEM.
  • Support and Services: Consider the provider’s support services, including training, incident response, and ongoing maintenance.
  • Check references: Don’t hesitate to speak with other customers about issues of concern.

Step 6: Conduct a Proof of Concept (PoC)

Before fully committing to a solution, conduct a PoC to test its effectiveness in your environment. During the PoC:

  • Simulate Threat Scenarios: Test the solution against realistic threat scenarios to assess its capabilities.
  • Evaluate Performance: Ensure that the solution performs well without disrupting your operations.
  • Gather Feedback: Collect feedback from your IT and OT teams on the solution’s usability and effectiveness.

Please refer to What Organisations are Getting Wrong When Selecting OT Visibility and Threat Detection Tools for helpful POC suggestions. 

Step 7: Implement and Optimize

Once you have selected a solution, the final step is implementation and optimization. This involves:

  • Planning the Deployment: Develop a detailed deployment plan, including timelines, resource allocation, and risk mitigation strategies.
  • Training Staff: Ensure your team is adequately trained on the new solution.
  • Continuous Monitoring and Improvement: Regularly review the solution’s performance and make necessary adjustments to optimize its effectiveness.


Choosing the best OT cybersecurity solutions for your operation is a complex process, but by following these steps, you can find a solution that fits your organization’s unique needs. Remember that cybersecurity is an ongoing process that requires continuous assessment, monitoring, and improvement to stay ahead of evolving threats.

Demystifying OT Cybersecurity Solutions: A Step-by-Step Guide to Finding Your Perfect Fit

Select the best OT security solution for your operation. We have it down to a science!

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