While we observe compounded growth of cyber-attacks, organizations have responded with more layered defense; however, operational technology (OT) is often ignored when it comes to security protection. Operational disruptions or theft of intellectual property must be top of mind when it comes to protecting a company – When industrial cyber risks increase, OT sees increases, as well. A key part of the solution is simple: an IT/OT Security Operations Center as a service. Using a SOC-as-a-Service, OT systems can be integrated into the mandate of its existing function. The good news is that there is a simple way to include industrial threat oversight.
A SOC-as-a-service is a service that provides real time monitoring, detection, and analysis of cyber security threats. As threats to OT systems grow in number, there are several reasons to add SOC-as-a-Service to a company’s cybersecurity strategy.
While IT is about data, OT is about processes and making things happen via control systems. When OT systems and devices are connected in Internet of Things (IoT) environments, cybersecurity for OT does not only require the protection of intellectual property and data. It also includes protection of the availability, integrity, reliability, productivity, and safety of the physical devices themselves. Companies must provide effective cybersecurity with end-to-end protection of each of these layers to create a strong IoT/OT security structure. Benefits of adding SOCaaS to a company’s OT framework includes:
- Implementing security protocols on personal and company devices that evolve with modern day complexities around malicious attacks.
- Protecting OT systems takes both IT skills and OT knowledge. Many teams find it easier to train IT employees on OT sensitivities than to train OT employees on IT cybersecurity skills. This is significantly easier to accomplish when there is a unified SOC in place.
- Simplifying cloud security workflows for data protection to help minimize exposure and vulnerabilities within cloud infrastructure.
- Keeping transparency and visibility across multiple locations, systems, and devices to allow organization to better understand IoT/OT security risks and vulnerabilities.
Enhancing Cybersecurity in your OT Network:
- Minimize human interference for maximum security. Consider OT passive monitoring tools, next-generation firewalls/network segmentation and OT threat detection along with sub-trends. Down the line, consider less pervasive technologies in the OT environments like software-defined networking options that are just starting to gain traction and allow for configuration as needed.
- Not all IoT is built with the same level of security protections. It is essential to understand what security controls each partner has in place. It is good practice to understand the encryption to access control procedures, to ensure awareness of possible exposure throughout the organization. On the security integration front, partnerships will be central for a comprehensive strategy. With a technical integrator, optimize channel partnership opportunities across each component layer of the cyber IoT/OT ecosystem.
- Address workforce transformation as part of the security strategy. As IT, IoT, and OT converge across industries and begin to be managed under the same control within organizations, employees will experience both the benefits and responsibilities of greater access to operational data across devices and networks. In utilizing a unified approach to IoT/OT, technology professionals will need strong cybersecurity support to understand how shared data can be used securely to meet organizational goals.