The increase in recent years of high-profile industrial facility breaches such as the ransomware attacks on Colonial Pipeline and JBS meat processing plant, has raised awareness of the necessity to ensure that OT network security is of a high-enough standard to protect the assets and data of the entire facility.
A one-time installation of a cyber security product is no longer enough to provide ongoing protection, as cyber attacks become more sophisticated and dangerous. So how can you ensure that your industrial network security system is up to the task, not just today, but on an ongoing basis?
Future-proofing Cyber Security for OT Networks
The increase in cyber attacks has magnified the necessity for a change in security standards and systems. But more importantly, changes within the facilities themselves have accelerated the need for change. The massive increase in OT network connectivity as a result of the popularity of IIoT is a double-edged sword: on the one hand, it enables processes to be streamlined and throughput to be smoother and faster, but on the other hand it means that previously isolated OT facilities are now connected and therefore vulnerable to attack.
The combination of these new challenges has led to the necessity of transitioning to a new solution. The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) recommends using a risk-based security solution which enables CISOs to have more control over the security decisions within the organization.
Another essential change is the need for continuous network monitoring, and this measure will facilitate ongoing high-quality protection. By establishing an activity baseline for the network, it is then possible to monitor for any anomalous activity which can be assessed and acted upon as necessary.
From Theory to Reality: Best-practice Guidelines for Updated Security Solutions and Ongoing Network Monitoring
Best practices for industrial OT network security include the following steps:
- Transitioning to a unified SOC with a risk-based security solution: Bringing IT security and OT security together and treating it as a unified entity is the best way to safeguard the system as a whole.
- OT network visibility: The first rule of a converged IT/OT security system is to ensure full visibility, as what can’t be seen, can’t be monitored, and what can’t be monitored can’t be protected. Visibility begins with some form of inventory taking, ideally in the form of a virtual map which not only allows for updates according to network improvements and changes, but can also be used for non-invasive breach-attack simulation.
- OT network segmentation: the convergence of IT and OT networks due to the increased streamlining of Industry 4.0 has resulted in a maze of interconnected components, making it far easier for cyber criminals to find a “back door” into the system. Network segmentation can help contain a breach if it occurs, and also makes it easier to monitor traffic.
- OT network monitoring: continuous network monitoring is no longer a luxury. It has become a necessity in order to fully safeguard critical systems, as cyber attacks become more common, more sophisticated and more aggressive. Continuous monitoring includes the ability to update the virtual map inventory with the addition of new components or IT elements and the removal of retired assets. It also includes the ability to track all traffic throughout the system, flagging up any non-standard activity and generating alerts according to the severity of the risk in each case.
Continuous Network Monitoring with Radiflow’s OT Security Solutions
Radiflow provides continuous network monitoring as part of its complete suite of OT security solutions. Radiflow has been recognized by Gartner as sole vendor in both the OT network monitoring and visibility, and the cyber-physical systems (CPS) risk-management categories.
Radiflow’s CIARA ROI-based platform enables ongoing risk analysis, allowing security measures to be assessed and updated according to evolving threats. Radilflow’s iSID provides continuous network monitoring, ensuring that any activity which deviates from the baseline is immediately detected so that a potential breach can be stopped in its tracks.
To find out more about Radiflow’s industrial and infrastructure cyber security solutions, including continuous network monitoring, contact us today, and ensure your security system remains as relevant tomorrow as it is today.