The convergence of OT and IT has created a new problem
Increasing connectedness of critical infrastructure makes it exponentially more vulnerable to cyber attack.
Over the past two decades, industry and government have been transforming how they manage critical infrastructure by embracing new technology and analytics for improved efficiency and productivity to remain competitive in the global marketplace.
As a result, billions of Operational Technology (OT) devices used to control, monitor and manage systems integral to operations in every industry sector and any nations critical infrastructure, are being connected to the Information Technology (IT) network.
However, the majority of this OT, which utilises SCADA control system architecture, was never designed to be converged with IT.
So, now more than ever, previously isolated, critical infrastructure assets, which are the most challenging to secure, are connected to the outside world and vulnerable to cyber-attack.
CONSEQUENCES OF CYBER ATTACK
The cyber threat is real and no one is immune
In the past, the focus was on physical security of devices and connectivity was prevented. Today, this “Air Gapping” approach to securing systems is no longer an effective defence.
The reality is that, due to the convergence of IT and OT, the critical infrastructure assets that underpin national economies are now just 32 milliseconds from anywhere on the planet. This means threats are no longer isolated to a physical attack but now includes anyone with a computer anywhere in the world.
This integration of technology ecosystems now allows IT networks to be used to mount attacks on OT networks and enables the use of vulnerable OT devices as pathways back into corporate IT systems.
Further compounding the situation, malware is now being designed to specifically target OT networks.
Globally, industries and governments are now being actively targeted and the range of attackers is diverse. From competitors seeking to disrupt operations, foreign powers looking to steal IP, customers trying to gain an advantage in negotiations, activists wanting to cause reputational damage, criminal syndicates trying to extort money or hackers chasing a new challenge; even unwitting employees with smartphones can be an insider threat.
Whatever the motivation, the potential for a major service failure within your operation, and a catastrophic safety or environmental incident, is real and imminent.
PERCENTAGE OF ICS SYSTEM ATTACKS BY INDUSTRY
(JUL – DEC 2017)
The next evolution of cybersecurity is here
By 2020, there will be an estimated 50 billion machines connected through the internet.
It is now commonplace within major industrial plants and infrastructure to find hundreds of thousands of OT devices now connected to IT networks.
Adding to this complexity, factors such as numerous device manufacturers, simple protocols not designed to protect against cyber-attacks, lack of software updates or patching due to minimising downtime, the use of IT vulnerabilities to compromise OT systems, together with the extended age of OT systems, present a great challenge in effectively detecting or defending against cyber-attacks with conventional security practices.
In addition, most operators don’t have a reliable inventory of their systems and devices or context and situational awareness, so many organisations are capturing vast data lakes that are completely redundant, consuming enormous quantities of unnecessary time and cost.
Even the most sophisticated OT cybersecurity providers haven’t found a way around the problem, leaving critical energy, resources, communications, water, finance, transport and defence infrastructure completely vulnerable.
The threats to critical infrastructure and corporate networks are now so advanced that they require a cybersecurity solution that combines advanced technologies, machine learning and human intelligence (through a Managed SOC) to protect networks against the complex range of attack scenarios they are vulnerable to across the entire enterprise.
This need for a comprehensive industrial network security solution led to the genesis of Sapien Cyber.
Sapien Cyber has developed a sophisticated solution that changes the cybersecurity landscape forever. Through the evolution of our ‘system of systems’ platform, we have developed an unparalleled cybersecurity solution for both OT and IT environments.
Sapiens solution monitors and detects cybersecurity anomalies, incidents and attacks in both Industrial Control Systems and Corporate IT infrastructure.
Our solution accounts for the complex and ever-changing threat landscape, using advanced intrusion detection techniques combined with actionable threat intelligence across both OT and IT environments.
Sapien understands the threat landscape and offers solutions to address the complexity found within commercial, industrial, corporate and government-owned assets.