Knowledge to strengthen defense against…

Critical infrastructure, which includes energy, water management, health system and many industries, has recently become increasingly vulnerable to specialized cyber threats that can interrupt critical operations.

Thus, recently we have seen an increase in internet or . Attacks on Operational Technology (OT) environments or the so-called process environments, specialized information and communications environments that are concerned with the implementation of operations. These are becoming an increasingly common target for hackers, knowing that by taking control of the OT environment and shutting down vital systems, they may demand high ransom in exchange for re-establishing processes. Such a successful attack can cause serious business damage (for example, loss of a production line) or even socially harmful consequences (disruption of electricity or drinking water supplies), and in the worst case may endanger human lives.

What are OT environments?

Operational technology environments or OT environments are highly specialized, usually very large and complex environments that include various elements and consist of many related architectures. They use dedicated hardware and specific protocols (IEC 60870-5-104, IEC 61850 – GOOSE, Profinet, S7, Modbus (). Above all, they do not have security mechanisms, as they were not designed with cybersecurity in mind. Until recently. These were isolated environments (Air Gap), where there was no need to communicate with the outside world or the business environment.The systems were mostly monitored and operated manually.

Connect OT environments to IT environments

With the advent of digitization and automation of business and operation – production processes and the emergence of new technologies (cloud technologies, wireless networks, Internet of things …) there was also a need to connect OT environments to the World Wide Web, remote management and especially business network or information technology (IT) environment and secure data integration between them. Integrating IT and OT environments creates new security risks and vulnerabilities that hackers can take advantage of.

Operating environment security vulnerabilities

In addition to linking processes and business systems, we face other challenges in industrial and critical infrastructure environments. Due to the nature of operations, frequent upgrades are not possible, as this would mean that the production process would be interrupted. It also still powers many devices and systems of older origin, such as operating systems for which security patches are no longer available. For example, Windows XP is still very popular. It is not possible to support the installation of antivirus protection, the systems are without an Internet connection, which is why updates cannot be performed. Thus, security holes remain.

Cyber ​​risk management

With the right methods, we can largely prevent hackers from gaining control of critical systems or systems. Critical infrastructure and prevent continuous operation. When planning cybersecurity, reference models help us a lot, among which are many Useful Purdue Reference Template, which divides the IT and OT environment into six levels or regions. Improper integration of the IT environment and operational technology creates ideal conditions for hackers who have a number of security vulnerabilities.

With the help of dedicated tools such as security threat detection systems (Ad add-on systems), ensuring clarity of hardware, traffic flows, protocols, and vulnerabilities. With the help of firewalls dedicated to OT environments and IDS systems, we can properly segment and protect the network, thus increasing the chances of detecting and preventing potential incidents in a timely manner.

Strengthening security defenses

With all the security challenges, the question is, how can the complexity of cybersecurity be managed? The answer comes with a 4-day specialized training ICS/OT/IoT cybersecurity environmentsDesigned by Smart Com’s team of security experts and ethical hackers, with the goal of creating and enhancing cybersecurity in these critical environments.

through the listeners Lectures and practical exercises In a virtual environment, learn all the details of an OT environment, how to secure resources critical to continuous operation, how to ensure the security of devices, applications and networks, how to properly design a network in an OT environment, properly and securely connect it to an IT environment, and how to identify and manage attack technologies

If you are responsible for the ongoing operation of an OT or . Operation environment (Head of Production, Head of Operation and Maintenance, Control Systems Administrator …), are invited to raise their level of knowledge in the field of planning cybersecurity mechanisms in critical systems. Check training details at (Public relations)

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