Monday, November 26, 2018

Infrastructure Organizations Beware

According to the 2018 Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report, 29.2% of reported breaches happen in industries considered infrastructure. These industries include utilities, transportation, healthcare and others that use operational technology systems.

What can organizations that are considered infrastructure do to mitigate these risks? First, let’s take a look at what the risks are, and then how to secure your organization from them.

The first risk is the environment where the organization exists. If there is no inventory of the systems, a lack of security and a lack of understanding of what data is being used, the organization is at a major risk. In order to best combat this risk, one should start by gaining an understanding of overall security posture. If an organization is operating in multiple environments, pick a representative environment and apply what was learned to the other environments.

The second risk is patch management. This is self-explanatory, and its solution is as well. Patch your systems! Running outdated OT systems greatly increases the chance of a breach. Network Segmentation is the third risk, with many OT systems having connections between systems that should not be connected. In order to combat this, develop a plan for network segmentation, that way if one network is breached it is contained rather than spreading.

The fourth risk is the supply chain. It is very hard to control how organizations handle their data, which is why it is important to include security requirements when bringing on new systems, as well as continuing maintenance efforts within their vendor management programs. The fifth risk is a lack of a united front within the organization regarding security. To avoid this, one should foster cooperation and respect between the groups who address cyber threats. Training, communication and cooperation are key here.

With the world becoming increasingly digital, state actors are waging war behind the scenes more and more. A good example of this is Russia crippling Ukrainian infrastructure by launching a cyber-attack on power plants. All organizations are at risk for a cyber-attack, but those that are considered infrastructure should consider that the person trying to hack you isn’t necessarily some kid in his mom’s basement or even a pro hacker. It could be an intelligence agency with hundreds of well-trained specialists trying to see how your systems tick and how to break them.

For more information checkout our website at or call 877.860.5863

Infrastructure Organizations Beware