Four ways to protect your OT environment from cybersecurity incidents


The risk associated with physical infrastructure is growing massively as hackers devise subtle means to infiltrate the environment. The OT security challenge can be complex to navigate and indeed prevent; the attack surface is often incredibly wide, including every network device. To safely navigate your OT environment, apply these four tips. Read this article to grab more tips: how to avoid the leak of personal data.

Track and manage your assets: begin by establishing a comprehensive inventory of all the assets connected to your OT network. This includes devices like building management systems, uninterruptible power supplies, and HVAC systems. Understanding how these assets communicate, their location and their support contracts is essential. It only takes one vulnerable device, like an IoT fire alarm box with weak admin credentials, to compromise your entire network. Additionally, it's important to monitor and control third-party access to your OT systems to minimise security risks.

Segregate infrastructure systems: If securing your OT infrastructure completely is not feasible, consider implementing segregation. Create two parallel networks—an ultra-secure classified network for critical assets and sensitive data, and a secondary unclassified network for suspect devices. By isolating the unclassified network from critical resources, you can prevent security breaches from spreading while using an hide vpn.

Prioritise proactive security measures: take a two-pronged approach to device security. First, establish a strict regimen of patching and updating the firmware to address known vulnerabilities. Regular penetration testing and securing SNMP protocols can also enhance security. Work with reputable manufacturers who provide patching and firmware support, or consider using third-party patch providers. Second, ensure you have a support plan for the entire lifecycle of your devices, as OT hardware tends to have longer service lives. Make informed decisions about retiring unsupported devices to minimise the risk of exploitation.

Develop a business continuity and disaster recovery plan: don't overlook OT infrastructure when creating your disaster recovery and business continuity plans. Assess the potential impact of cyber breaches on your systems, determine the damage that could occur, establish acceptable downtime limits, and outline steps to mitigate risks. Regularly test your disaster recovery procedures to ensure their effectiveness. Consider the indirect access a compromised OT asset could provide to critical processes, systems, or data.

Remember that securing your physical infrastructure is an ongoing journey. As your assets become increasingly digitised and networked, it's crucial to work with experts who have expertise in physical infrastructure security without neglecting a VPN service. They can provide guidance and support to ensure your critical assets remain protected. By adopting a risk-based approach and continually improving your security measures, you can safeguard your OT environment now and in the future.