An attack on a firm could result in lost goods, unscheduled downtime, worker safety hazards, the loss of sensitive and/or proprietary information, and, in most cases, unfavorable public perception. As a result, businesses must identify potential risks, understand their weaknesses, and prioritize risk mitigation strategies in order to help Cybersecurity risk.
Vulnerabilities grow as businesses become more interconnected and reliant on the internet, and risks multiply. Cyber-threats, particularly ransomware and data breaches, are becoming more common among manufacturers and producers.
Business managers and engineers recognize the importance of cybersecurity when it comes to a distributed control system (DCS). Creating secure passwords and implementing software updates and patches, however, isn’t sufficient. Multiple systems or sectors of an operation can be affected by cybersecurity for a process system, including but not limited to controllers, networking, HMIs, sophisticated analytics, and people.
Securing a system can be a daunting task, but there are a number of widely understood countermeasures that can help to improve security posture. The expanding connection of the automated business enables unprecedented visibility into systems, resulting in enhanced analytics and data that can assist improve operations, create efficiencies, and boost profitability. However, this connectivity can expose systems to attacks and make them vulnerable.
If companies are looking to strengthen their cybersecurity, they should ensure they are aware of the following three common challenges.
Threats and bad actors exist in open systems. Open protocol networks are a well-known component of distributed-control systems and are widely regarded as advantageous. However, the threat linked with online, connected control systems can make producers more vulnerable. So, organizations should consider the Zone and Conduit models to help minimize threats and keep key assets separated from the most vulnerable areas. These models can also assist in preventing open networks from becoming vulnerable to simple attack vectors.
Larger companies may be unaware that their network is still using a legacy operating system. Every company has equipment of varied vintages, and many manufacturers upgrade their systems piecemeal.
Viruses, worms, and hackers can gain access to this older equipment, especially if they haven’t been updated in years. A risk assessment can assist in identifying vulnerabilities and devising a strategy to address it. Replacement is essential, but if it isn’t achievable, network segmentation and defense layers can provide some protection.
Unknown Return on Investment
When it comes to risk mitigation, it’s less about how much money is on the line and more about what could be lost if a critical system isn’t upgraded.
A risk assessment can identify vulnerabilities and mitigation techniques, allowing producers to analyze their present risk level across the entire system. They should use this information to evaluate their risk posture and the plans necessary to undertake adjustments to satisfy that risk posture. Even in the face of economic or business challenges, there are mitigation strategies that can be accomplished using economical and simple measures. Businesses should determine Cybersecurity risk posture and protect their most vital assets.
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