The Importance of OT Security Monitoring

   Dec 20, 2021 | Radiflow team

Planning and implementing a comprehensive OT security system is no longer just “important”, it’s become an imperative. Reports of successful breach attacks appear regularly on the news, reminding us of the vulnerabilities of cyber-physical systems. Events such as the ransomware attack on the Colonial pipeline and the attempted terrorist attack on an Oldsmar, FL water facility serve as a dire warning not only of the possible fallout of such attacks, but also of the advanced capabilities of the cyber groups that masterminded the attacks. These attacks and many others have highlighted the importance of bringing security measures up-to-date, including ongoing OT network and SCADA security monitoring.


IT security is not enough: It’s time for an OT Security Assessment


Unlike IT systems, OT security cannot rely on patching and updating systems on a regular basis due to the critical nature of industrial operations: it is unfeasible to shut down a water-supply or renewable energy production plant to update the security system. Infrastructure and manufacturing facilities have very specific security needs, and SOC personnel must bear in mind that when it comes to OT, security breaches can endanger life as well as systems and sensitive corporate data.


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This has led to clear recommendations and best practice solutions being drawn up by government bodies, such as NIST and NCSC, for pinpointing and securing OT vulnerabilities and creating secure OT/ICS networks. These guidelines include transitioning from a component-based system to a system-based (risk-assessment) solution, converging the organization’s IT and OT security systems, and ensuring that effective, ongoing ICS network monitoring is set in place.


How Does OT Security Monitoring Fit Into the Picture?


A risk-based system involves the following two types of network monitoring, both designed to ensure your security is as tight as possible.




Ongoing internal monitoring is one of the essential tools for safeguarding the OT network. Efficient monitoring, naturally, can only be done once there is full network visibility, which is achieved by creating a virtual map, or digital image, of the IT/OT network, containing all assets, IPs, protocols, and ports. Once all elements are mapped, it is possible to establish a baseline activity model for automatically detecting abnormal activity and sending an alert to the SOC team.



Having created a virtual map, it is possible to test the system’s resilience using non-invasive breach and attack simulations. These will assess the capability of your security system against known threat methods. Using a cyber threat TTP (tactics, techniques and procedures) database such as MITRE ATT&CK for ICS, security providers are able to test the network against the latest known threats and provide prioritized recommendations for security upgrades where necessary. As cyber-criminals evolve and develop new methods, the need for ongoing monitoring has become self-evident.


Ongoing, consistent monitoring with Radiflow’s CIARA


Radiflow has been recognized by Gartner as Sole Vendor in both the OT network monitoring & visibility and the cyber-physical systems (CPS) risk-management categories. Our digital imaging feature is designed to maximize visibility of all system components to enable ongoing monitoring from an established baseline, as well as creating a virtual map suitable for breach & attack simulation (OT-BAS) modeling.


Radiflow’s CIARA ensures ongoing network risk analysis and presents a prioritized list of mitigation measures, providing you with the highest level of threat protection. By performing regular security assessments using our unique breach & attack simulation algorithm, Radiflow enables you to protect your critical systems from even the most advanced cyber-attack methods.


With Radiflow you’re ensured that your CPS has the highest level of cyber protection, including ongoing threat and risk monitoring. Contact our sales team today to schedule a demonstration or discovery meeting.

Risk-based OT security requires performing both Internal Monitoring of abnormal network behavior and external monitoring/simulating of ICS-risk factors.

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