The rate of cyberattacks and cybercrimes is fast rising on a global scale. It’s not just large industries that are experiencing data breaches. Attacks on small firms are also on the rise as hackers become aware that these companies may not have put in place a strong cybersecurity defense or cybersecurity incident response plan.
In this article, we will discuss ways in which you can improve the overall cybersecurity in your industry.
What is Cybersecurity?
Cyber security is the application of technology, protocols, and policies to protect from any cyberattacks on structures, networks, services, devices, and data. The primary purpose of cybersecurity is to lower the risk of cyberattacks and prevent unauthorized use and access of networks and systems.
What is OT Cybersecurity?
Operational technology (OT) is defined as hardware and software that directly monitor, control, and/or manage physical objects, activities, and events within an organization.
Industrial Control Systems (ICS), such as SCADA systems, frequently use OT. Power plants or public transportation may be managed using OT in the world of critical infrastructure.
The demand for OT cybersecurity is increasing quickly as this technology develops and converges with networked technology. Organizations and industries should train their employees on OT cybersecurity standards or get in touch with OT cybersecurity companies that can assess the risks and vulnerabilities in your OT systems and assist in fixing them.
Operational technology is mostly composed of industrial control systems (ICS). Devices, systems, controls, and networks of various kinds are included in ICS cybersecurity and are used to handle a range of industrial processes.
SCADA (supervisory control and data acquisition) systems and distributed control systems are the most prevalent (DCS).
Cybersecurity for OT vs. IT
Since IT and OT are frequently conflated, it’s crucial to comprehend their differences. Information technology (IT) controls data, whereas operational technology (OT) controls machinery or software.
One can say that information technology (IT) is particularly concerned with protecting the privacy, availability, and integrity of systems and data.
Achieving Optimal IT and OT Cybersecurity in Your Industry
1. Invest in OT security
Protecting the availability, security, and safety of industrial environments and vital infrastructure requires a strong focus on operational technology (OT) cybersecurity. Organizations must ensure they have OT cybersecurity guidelines in place to protect assets, systems, and processes from cyberattacks. They must comply with tight regulatory requirements for OT security. Threat detection, risk-based vulnerability management, and complete visibility must be performed.
Your industry or organization can pay for employees to take OT cybersecurity courses to become familiar with the OT cybersecurity strategy and framework.
2. Cybersecurity Policies and Guidelines
You must ensure that everyone in your organization is aware of the appropriate measures to take as well as those to avoid. It is crucial to have a well-defined security policy. Standard procedures for passwords, encoding, device usage, email, and any other security-related topics should be covered in your security policy.
The penalties for breaking these rules should also be made clear. As changes are made, be sure to let everyone know and update the policy as necessary.
3. Use Secure Passwords
A key component of cybersecurity is passwords. Make sure you and your staff select passwords that are challenging to decipher. Don’t use names or dates that can be easily associated with you.
Alter passwords frequently. When someone with access leaves your firm, always update the password. The more authentication factors you use, the more difficult it is for someone to access your accounts.
4. Keep Software Up-to-Date
Outdated software can break any organization. Upgrades like security fixes are frequently present in the most recent software releases. Make sure you’re utilizing the most recent version of the software when using it.
5. Secure Your Networks
Use a firewall to protect the security of your network. To make it more difficult for anyone to access your data, always use encryption. When utilizing WiFi, use extra caution because many hackers target public, unprotected WiFi networks.
Avoid utilizing free WiFi in public places. Using a VPN helps improve the security of your WiFi connections. Furthermore, you should use a strong password for your business router.
6. Backup Your Data
There is never a guarantee that your system won’t be targeted, no matter how careful you are. You can prevent total loss in the event of an attack or system crash by backing up vital data.
It is best to have data automatically backed up and to keep the backups in a safe place. You can store your files on an external device, the cloud, or even both.
7. Device Access Control
Maintaining full control over your devices is crucial. Ensure that when your employees leave their desks, they take care not to leave any sensitive data on their screens. Everyone using a computer station must log out of the network before departing. And laptops must never be left unattended.
Smartphones and tablets are constantly targeted by hackers and frequently stolen as more and more business is done on them. Make sure staff members protect their data, password-protect their smartphones and tablets, and use security programs to protect their equipment. Mobile device theft or loss needs to be reported right away.
8. Prevent Third-party Access to Your Network
It can be difficult to manage IT networks, so businesses occasionally hire consultants from outside the company and grant them high-level access. Organizations should have a thorough understanding of the level of access that third parties can have and exercise caution.
Remove any access that is no longer necessary. To prevent your network from being exploited as a gateway to a larger target if one of the companies in your supply chain is compromised, try to understand the security procedures followed by all vendors and their clients.
9. Cybersecurity Training
Employers can lower their risk by providing employees with IT and OT cybersecurity training. Education and having a robust security strategy go hand in hand. Make sure everyone knows how and why to adhere to the rules you’ve established. Hold training sessions and meetings to keep everyone informed about the best ways to protect your systems and data.
Real-world situations and interesting conversations are key components of effective IT and OT cybersecurity courses. Lessons on password security and browser/email security must be offered. These programs are designed to raise awareness and reduce dangers.
Almost every cyberattack is carried out to collect important information that can be used in identity theft or a similar cybercrime. Small firms have less secure networks, which makes it easier to breach the network, even while larger corporations hold considerably more information that can be stolen.
Even though cybersecurity is crucial, some business owners are unsure of how to safeguard their organizations against cyberattacks. You can help your company reduce the possibility of a cyber attack by putting cybersecurity strategies into practice.
Your data will be safer if you follow the cybersecurity tips given. Remember that cybercriminals are continually searching for sneaky new ways to access your systems. It’s crucial to stay current on news in this area so that you’re informed of the most recent cyber risks.