Today, cybersecurity is a pressing issue across all industries, ranging from individual devices being hacked to data breeches from the computer systems used in the financial industry to malware being placed on the industrial control systems (ICS) used by manufacturers. Thus, the Department of Homeland Security has declared October National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, which they describe as a collaborative effort between government and industry to raise awareness about the importance of cybersecurity and to ensure that all Americans have the resources they need to be safer and more secure online.
This year, the overarching message of cybersecurity month is to “own it, secure it, and protect it.” This message is critical for organizations with ICS networks to embrace because a malicious attack on an ICS could have far-reaching impacts on people and equipment, especially as plant automation systems are becoming more connected with automation and IIoT technology.
Cyberattacks on ICSs have only been increasing as hackers get smarter and ICS networks become more complex, therefore, a solid cyber security strategy is needed to protect your factory productivity, assets, and even employees.
Vertech works with a wide variety of organizations with ICS networks, particularly those monitoring and controlling critical infrastructure, to advise and help develop solid security systems that protect their assets and information. Based on our extensive hands-on experience with ICS networks, we’ve put together the following short list of practical, high-level action items for IT/OT staff tasked with managing your organization’s plant-floor cyber security:
- Discover: You can’t protect what you don’t understand
- Assess: Identify potential weaknesses with a vulnerability assessment
- Act: Develop and execute an actionable plan that fits your company’s needs
- Monitor: Install a system capable of detecting and stopping breaches
- Maintain: Schedule regular maintenance to protect against the latest threats
Given the specialized knowledge required to run, maintain, and ultimately protect an ICS, choose someone who knows all the ins and outs of ICS networks to implement your strategy based on these action items. If no one internally has this kind of experience, get the help you need from an industrial cyber security expert like Vertech that understands the unique challenges of securing networks in the ICS environment. Our team can assess your network and provide a detailed, customized report of vulnerabilities and what specific steps you can take to shore up your defenses.
Learn more about how Vertech can help protect your ICS from cyber security threats.