In today’s interconnected world, where cyber threats are increasingly sophisticated, organizations must prioritize cybersecurity. The convergence of operational technology (OT) and information technology (IT) has revolutionized industries like manufacturing, energy, and transportation, however, it also exposes critical OT systems to cyber threats.
While implementing strong defense mechanisms is crucial, it is equally vital to establish a robust monitoring system. Cybersecurity monitoring allows real-time visibility into network activity, enabling the detection and prevention of threats before they can cause significant damage.
Red Trident offers a full spectrum of OT cybersecurity services
- Advise – Provide guidance and compliance support
- Assess – Uncover vulnerabilities & exploit them
- Fix/Remediate – Fix the problems to lower the risk
- Monitor – Detect and respond to alerts & hunt for threats
- Respond – Incident response for any issues that arise
- Train – Provide training to your in-house team
Benefits of OT Cybersecurity Monitoring Services
EARLY THREAT DETECTION & PREVENTION
OT networks commonly rely on legacy systems that might lack built-in security controls. Monitoring these systems is vital for early detection of security incidents, as traditional security solutions often struggle to detect or prevent attacks in OT environments. Having a dedicated monitoring system allows for the detection of unusual network traffic, configuration changes, or unauthorized access attempts, which can indicate a potential breach or compromise.
By having a cybersecurity partner focused on continuous monitoring, organizations can detect threats at an early stage, allowing them to respond promptly and prevent further infiltration. With early detection, immediate steps can be taken to investigate and respond to security incidents effectively. This includes isolating affected devices, patching vulnerabilities, or even disconnecting critical systems temporarily to prevent further damage. Monitoring provides real-time visibility into the OT environment, enabling security teams to respond swiftly and minimize the potential impact of cyber threats, while safeguarding critical infrastructure.
ENSURING AVAILABILITY & RELIABILITY
In OT environments, availability and reliability are paramount. Any disruption to critical infrastructure can have severe consequences, such as production downtime, economic losses, or compromise of public safety. Monitoring systems play a crucial role in ensuring the availability and reliability of OT systems by proactively identifying potential issues before they escalate into major problems.
By monitoring key performance indicators (KPIs), system logs, and device health, organizations can identify issues that may impact operations. This could include signs of equipment failure, abnormal temperature readings, or unusual system behavior. Early diagnosis allows for timely maintenance or preventive measures, preventing unexpected downtime and ensuring continuous operations.
COMPLIANCE & RISK MANAGEMENT
OT systems are subject to various compliance and industry regulations, such as NERC CIP, IEC 62443, or ISO 27001. Monitoring plays a vital role in meeting these requirements and managing cybersecurity risks effectively. By continuously monitoring OT networks and documenting network activities, organizations can provide evidence of compliance during audits or regulatory inspections.
Monitoring also helps organizations assess risks and prioritize security efforts based on real-time data. By identifying vulnerabilities or weaknesses in OT systems, organizations can implement appropriate security controls and allocate resources effectively. This proactive approach to risk management improves the overall cybersecurity posture of the OT environment.
An Incident that Could Have Been Prevented with Monitoring
With the increasing reliance on operational technology (OT) systems to manage critical infrastructure, the risks of cyber attacks in these environments have also increased. Cybercriminals are targeting OT systems to disrupt operations, cause physical damage, or steal valuable data. However, many of these incidents could have been prevented or stopped before damage occurred with the right cybersecurity measures, such as having a dedicated OT monitoring partner.
A power plant in a remote location suffered a major outage that led to significant disruptions in its service. The cause of the outage was traced to a cyber attack that had affected the plant’s control systems. Investigation revealed that the attackers had gained access to the plant’s network through a phishing email and were able to bypass the weak access control measures.
Once in the network, the attackers were able to gain control of the critical systems, causing a plant shutdown that lasted several days. The damage caused was extensive, causing financial losses, reputation damage, and disruption to critical services.
How Monitoring Could Have Prevented the Incident
In hindsight, it is apparent that the power plant lacked adequate monitoring systems that could have detected the attack early enough to prevent extensive damage. With the proper OT cybersecurity partner supporting them, the power plant could have detected anomalies and unauthorized activities that may have indicated a potential breach.
With early detection, the power plant’s security team could have taken immediate action to investigate and respond to the incident effectively. In situations like this, a cybersecurity monitoring partner would have alerted the power plant’s IT team to any configuration changes made to the OT systems. This would have provided early detection of any changes made by attackers, allowing the IT team to revert to previous configurations before any damage was caused.
The Importance of Monitoring in OT Cybersecurity
Monitoring also facilitates effective incident response by providing valuable data that helps in root cause analysis, mitigation, and recovery efforts. In critical industries such as energy and transportation, where any disruption to operations can have severe consequences, monitoring is a crucial component of OT cybersecurity.
The power plant incident is just one example of the potential risks associated with unprotected OT systems. By partnering with an OT cybersecurity partner who specializes in monitoring, organizations can ensure the availability and reliability of their critical infrastructure while minimizing cyber risks.
Why Client’s Choose Red Trident’s Monitoring Services
Why Red Trident
We work with you and do our best to be your cybersecurity partner. We listen to your concerns and make sure that we’re aligned with your business priorities. We don’t just come in, sell a service, write a report and walk away. We’re here for you. We explain our findings, answer any questions you might have and work with you to help where needed.
Unlike most OT cybersecurity companies, who only offer consulting and assessment services, we want to continue the journey with you and help fix any issues found during our assessments. That could include: providing guidance on how best to effectively solve the issue or we could work along side your team to augment their OT cybersecurity expertise.
No matter what you need, we want to be your partner to support you in your cybersecurity journey and get you where you want to be.
Our team consists of leaders in the ICS field with decades of combined experience in the public sector, private sector, and military. We’ve presented at major security conferences such as DEF CON, BlackHat, various ISAC’s, SANS ICS Summits, etc. We also understand how to communicate in a way that is easy to understand so you don’t end up feeling overwhelmed or confused.
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