With the rise of the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), operational technology (OT) networks now have a lot more devices, systems, and apps linked to them.
OT cybersecurity can manage and control critical assets like power plants, water treatment facilities, and transportation systems. This makes them desirable targets for cyber attackers.
So, paying the utmost attention to OT environment cybersecurity is essential to stop any malicious actions that could cause serious problems, such as physical damage, money loss, or even loss of life.
There are only so many times in OT cybersecurity when there isn’t enough data. More often, the problem is what to do with all the information once you have it.
Because there is so much information, security managers need to cut down on false positives and get more accurate data to focus on the real threats and eliminate the rest.
What Is OT Cybersecurity?
Cybersecurity for operational technology (OT) refers to the software, hardware, processes, people, and services used to protect people, data, and operational technology infrastructure.
Data collection and analysis become more important. As IT and OT merge to make “big data” projects possible, it’s time to rethink the best ways to protect OT from cyberattacks.
What Is The Focus Of OT Cybersecurity?
The main goal of OT cybersecurity is to make sure that all real assets are always running safely. This is more important than anything else. A place must be appropriately used to be used.
The need for industrial tools grew with the first Industrial Revolution in the 1700s. It was hard and dangerous to turn steam into energy that could be used.
It took decades to perfect a governor that could control the speed of a steam engine’s output and make it safe to use. We are now in the fourth industrial revolution, and each one before it has led to or been led by new ways to control physical systems.
5 Things You Need To Consider For OT Security In Industrial IoT Environments
To protect your Industrial IoT environment, it’s important to consider the following 5 key factors for OT security:
Endpoint And Network Security
The endpoints and networks are the most vulnerable parts of an industrial IoT system, so they need to be protected. This can be done by using safe protocols and encryption to protect data both while it is being sent and while it is being stored.
Also, it is important to ensure that all devices and systems have the latest security fixes and firmware to fix any known problems.
Putting Strong Authentication And Access Control In Place
Setting up strong authentication and access control methods is essential to stop people from getting into OT networks without permission. This includes using biometrics, smart cards, or tokens for multi-factor authentication.
Role-based access control limits users’ access rights based on their roles and responsibilities. Also, watching and auditing access is essential to determine if anyone is doing anything they shouldn’t be.
Recognizing The Threats And Dangers
A critical part of OT security is knowing everything there is to know about the risks and threats that industrial IoT settings face. Attackers can use device, system, and application flaws to get unauthorized entry, stop operations, or steal sensitive data.
So, it’s essential to have a risk management plan that identifies, evaluates, and ranks the risks and threats and then takes the proper steps to deal with them.
Performing Regular Security Audits And Testing
Testing and assessing the security of OT networks and systems regularly is important for finding any holes or weak spots. This includes penetration tests, vulnerability assessments, and compliance audits to ensure the OT systems are safe and meet legal standards.
Also, it is important to run incident reaction drills to see how well the security measures and procedures work in case of a security breach.
Implementing Segmentation And Isolation Of Networks
It is important to adopt network segmentation and isolation to limit the damage that could be done by a security breach. The network must be broken into smaller pieces, each with its security controls and access standards.
Doing this allows a security breach in one segment to be contained and kept from spreading to other parts. This keeps the damage to the whole system to a minimum.
OT security in industrial IoT environments is challenging and complex, requiring a multi-layered approach. To ensure these critical infrastructures are safe, organizations must understand the risks and threats, and set up strong authentication and access control systems.
Also, secure endpoints and networks set up network segmentation and isolation, and test and assess security regularly.
For example, network segmentation plays a critical role in gaming compliance in the gaming industry, especially when it comes to protecting sensitive player data, ensuring fair play, and maintaining the overall security of gaming platforms.
OT Security vs. IT Security
IT systems focus on data and communication, while OT systems focus on actions and results. IT systems are built to be connected, while OT systems, especially older ones, often need to be built to be connected.
Most control systems need to be networked, which makes it hard for them to share information or talk to each other. Even equipment with centralized control usually uses closed or private communication methods.
Some examples of OT security include industrial control systems, building management systems, fire control systems, and access control methods. Knowing how OT differs from information technology (IT) is important.
Due to the rising risk of cyber threats, industrial IoT settings need OT security more than ever. Organizations can protect their assets and processes from harm by implementing strong security measures and staying up-to-date on new threats.
Organizations must consider some important factors, such as putting in place strong access control measures, watching network activity all the time, and ensuring that all devices and systems are regularly patched and updated.
It is also important to have clear plans for handling an incident and to train employees regularly to raise awareness and avoid mistakes. Taking a risk-based approach to OT cybersecurity and doing regular reviews can also help find weaknesses and develop effective ways to fix them.
In today’s interconnected world, securing industrial IoT environments is essential to ensure vital infrastructure is safe and reliable and to stop cyberattacks from having disastrous effects.
Abdul Aziz Mondol is a professional blogger who is having a colossal interest in writing blogs and other jones of calligraphies. In terms of his professional commitments, he loves to share content related to business, finance, technology, and the gaming niche.