The advancements in the sophistication of cyber-attacks have increased dramatically over the past couple of years. While organizations across all verticals are suffering significant losses, the breach suffered by critical infrastructure had been worse.
With the rapid advancements in technology as well as adoption of remote work, organizations have witnessed a surge in cyber-attacks lately. For enterprises with critical infrastructure, having robust cyber defenses in place is more crucial than ever since Gartner predicts that 30% of critical infrastructure will witness a security breach by 2025.
Here are a few strategies organizations should incorporate to improve critical infrastructure security:
Communicating the importance of cybersecurity from the top
Governance as well as executive ownership of cyber-security, are central to building a successful cybersecurity program. CISOs should take steps toward building awareness and a culture of cybersecurity within their enterprise that includes formalizing written policies and procedures. Moreover, they should collaborate with their counterparts and members of the board. This way they can ensure cybersecurity is not only the responsibility of CIOs or the cybersecurity team but also the responsibility of every individual.
Know the organization’s connections in the cyber environment
CISOs should meet with their leaders and explain to them their respective roles in the cyber ecosystem. This can enable them to find opportunities to reduce cyber-attacks while simultaneously improving critical infrastructure defenses. But, building such a level of collaboration is only possible with relationships of personal trust. One step towards making that trust is by exercising incident response playbooks with multiple stakeholders. This can help build the required trust of government, tech providers, and critical infrastructure owners.
Utilize white-hat hackers
To gauge the strength of the cyber defences that are in place, organizations should opt for white-hat hackers. This will help the IT teams to keep the organization always alert while helping to expose blind spots. Frequently or once a year, using white-hat hackers conduct penetration exercises as well as report the results to the best practice. The insights gathered from the findings, when taken appropriate steps, can help the organization substantially improve its critical infrastructure.
Have a versatile physical security
The rise of remote and hybrid work environments means that not all the aspects of critical infrastructure are within a secure data center. Field offices, as well as remote locations, have network access to critical infrastructure as well. Hence, CISOs should ensure that these locations should also have the same level of physical security and policies as that of a secured and hardened data center.
Conduct rehearsal of a security incident
Along with having a white-hat practice in place, CISOs should also encourage the rehearsal of security incidents. They should prepare a written, detailed incident response plan and walk all the participants and contracts through it. This way, CISOs, and other stakeholders can see a team’s reaction when the real incident occurs. This will also help them improve their team’s responses while strengthening their plans for security incidents.