Up to 2020 many of executives were even unaware of cybersecurity challenges. According to a survey only 33% of CEOs expressed their concerns regarding cyberthreats. This number jumped to 47% in 2021. And what happened like that, so we got this increase in numbers.
The factors are…
After two high profile cyberattacks in 2021 on US utilities, this was focused to digitize all the system against cyberattacks. This discussion got deeper in industries like water sector. Important is, where to start and what steps to be taken.
Many industries, like water, had never considered engaging in cyber security-related discussion years ago. But that has altered with advancements in cyber security terrorization. Now, it has to be focused on how best to attain OT security.
Cyberattackers can now potentially approach to target unsecure channels rather than by focusing on one company. It’s difficult for businesses to distinguish attacks on their network when they are not the primary target. But the organizational risks remain the same.
This latest need for support and lapse is causing extensive damage on plants and their operators. Organizations need to keep an eye on their full OT systems. Not only OT systems, but all the equipments in it—multi-dealers, old and new, and at all patching levels—throughout a year. An attacker merely requires one slip-up to get in systems and cause destruction.
6 Steps to improve your cyber-grit
Here are steps to help improve your cyber-grit towards cyber-sustainability and resiliency:
- Develop an emphasized approach to cybersecurity:
It is important that your cybersecurity efforts are holistic and vendor-agnostic. Cyber-security is not a piece of cake to pick and choose protection levels for diverse systems. Since the whole environment needs to be protected in a way that can be managed centrally.
- Use accessible standards:
Standards and regulatory requirements (IEC 62443, NERC-CIP, AWWA and NIST 800-82) are major drivers for clients to begin their cyber-security journey. All security standards enclose well-built reference models for the secure growth of industrial automation and control systems.
- A utility requires cyber-policies and procedures in place to run facilities sound and safely. For this purpose, high level guidance is taken from AWWA (cyber-risk tool). On the other hand, Purdue Model for industrial control system is used for ‘defense in depth’ network segmentation. Both these tools help in starting, but still need further assistance to know how they should be applied to a particular sector or capacity.
- Train and implement a cybersecure culture:
All team members must be effectively trained on cyber-policies to enforce a culture of cybersecurity. In trainings employee’s role and their impact on organizational cyber-risk should be focused. It should go beyond of the mandated minimum requirements to execute a role-based cybersecurity workshop.
- It is very important for everyone to receive the necessary training to perform their role. That’s why, because all it takes is one individual clicking on a phishing email to affect the whole network. The training must be up-to-date and of accurate information related to security.
- Keep an eye on day-to-day operations:
Monitoring for inconsistent behavior, such as incorrect logins or unapproved change to the network is decisive in identifying potential intrusion. Without monitoring and logs, prevent them from reoccurring is extremely restricted.
- Operate next-gen tools to wrestle next-gen threats:
For fighting against next-gen threats, it is must to utilize ‘next-gen’ and advance tools. There is no need to be worry about using AI or the cloud. Emergence of AI tools is new side of cyber-security environment. AI tools can do the heavy lifting by learning the network. These tools also identify threats in real-time. Later, letting employees focus on solving the issues with the insights provided by the tools.
- Attain insight from outside cyber security experts:
At the end of the day, as small and large organizations face the same cyberthreats, so it is fine to ask outside security experts for assistance. The struggles of organizations both large and small to combat cyber-threats may be more similar than they think.
You are supposed to feel comfortable asking for outside help. Because, if you effort for selecting the right cyber-tools for your security environment, don’t fully understand how to stick to industry cyber-protection standards. You just need assistance understanding your strengths and weaknesses regarding your cyber. With the help of outside resources one can easily balance skills of staff under the budget. More, in the same budget a program can be created that works. Taking all these steps make you an unattractive target and minimize your risk.
How to turn cybersecurity into profit
On presenting your cybersecurity posture as a differentiator, you can enhance the potential to grab clients. This will also help in capturing sales from your competitors if you are able to present it. So, both from the standpoint of the threats and of the great opportunities, taking initiative to protect your operations is vital for profitability.
Furthermore, the only thing is that to produce the revenue you need to handle the security proficiently. It has been experienced that many organizations do not focus spending on security. In fact, this is the most significant threat to returns.
Consequently, the total expected cost of the security investment is negative once you take into account the likelihood X impact relative to expenditure. So, to attain the expected result that is (investment=Likelihood X impact) the programs needs to focus upon serious risks and leverage tools to take efficiently in the practice.
Working along with other stakeholders requires an understanding of the risks related to it. Companies should resolve what its stakeholders are doing to secure not only the information they own but also any mutual information. Engaging with stakeholders in this way will enhance trust and protect business value.
Future-proof your security team:
Now as it is understood that cybersecurity is top of mind, companies are looking for digital skills. Many organizations have already started with learning the digital skills necessary for the role. Almost all over the world new generation understood that learning about cybersecurity job skills is the need for their career path.
The workforce is a company’s leading asset and serves as the first line-defense against cyberattacks. Employees can be up skilled from day one to take on new roles within the company. Within the workforce company can also spot leaders to build a strong cybersecurity team from the ground up.
It is essential that businesses focus on indulgent how cybersecurity can influence their business. If companies do not prioritize weakness to cyber-threats until an attack strikes, it is too late. Addressing potential threats head on by creating short-term and long-term plans will put up a strong cybersecurity base internally and externally.