Why Cyber-Physical Security is Integral to IT Security Strategy

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Why Cyber-Physical Security is Integral to IT Security Strategy
Why Cyber-Physical Security is Integral to IT Security Strategy

In today’s consolidated and converged world, operational resilience is a priority, and companies are determined to defend cyber-physical systems (CPS).

Over the last few years, the pandemic, rapid growth in several sectors and geographies, and the work-from-home paradigm shift have significantly accelerated the convergence of IT and Operational Technology (OT) networks and necessitated a consolidated strategy to address cyber risks across Cyber-Physical Systems (CPS). Companies started to step up to the plate and streamline their cybersecurity and IT strategies to account for this reality. 

Particularly for CPS, cybersecurity has changed from being a cost consideration to an enabler of digital transformation to a differentiator for businesses that thrive at it. As companies aim for increased efficiency, automation, cost, and time savings by using the power of AI and insights from data analytics, the physical world is increasingly dependent on its digital components. These developments demand CPS interconnection so that we may share data and benefit from streamlined and more effective workflows.

As a result, every business is working to defend CPS better and more effectively. The most profitable companies are excellent at recognizing where they are in the process and how to organize their next moves.

The Journey of OT & IoT for Cyber-Physical Systems

Awareness: 

Organizations are being compelled to re-prioritize a combined IT/OT security strategy, which typically indicates difficulties in IT and OT teams cooperating. This may be due to a breach, a pandemic, or geopolitical conflict. All groups must go through this “storming” phase as they better comprehend the particular CPS cybersecurity requirements and assemble the required skills.

Also Read: Top Three Cybersecurity Challenges in the Metaverse to Overcome

Network topology mapping, outreach, and asset discovery: 

Before applying any security measures, the teams need to understand what they have, how it’s connected, and the security posture of those devices. In this phase, the teams gain a better understanding of the capabilities of their present vendors and begin to formulate a plan to define consolidated governance across IT and OT networks. When teams are working together on specific problems and making progress, collaboration usually increases.

Discovery: 

In a world that has become more invisible, unmanaged, and networked over the past few decades, expect the unexpected. Teams are suddenly finding unmanaged assets everywhere, connectivity where it shouldn’t be, and numerous vulnerabilities across devices, most of which cannot be patched. Many security issues have been discovered, but they are now more visible to the teams.

Damage Control: 

Based on the results of the previous step, there is a lot to do, making it simple to become overwhelmed. Successful organizations go through a process to prioritize actions at this level rather than simply pouring resources into the findings. It is critical to have a clear understanding of the company’s goals. This phase involves reducing security concerns and technological advancements to make CPS interconnectivity useful for the company’s bigger digitalization and cost-saving targets. Great businesses thrive at demonstrating how cybersecurity can give them a competitive edge in this area.

Integration:

Implementation involves time and careful resource allocation, so this phase is the most labor-intensive. Utilizing platforms that emphasize integration reduces the time and expense associated with installation. At this point, the organization is also in alignment, transferring to the CSO or CISO for integrated governance, continuity of monitoring and reporting authority, and accountability for safeguarding the OT network. Teams can design optimizations based on this integrated IT and OT process.

Optimization: 

This is the stage where enterprises begin to understand the power of the data and analytics they can get from the integrated environment, beyond lowering risk and improving operational efficiency. Teams have the chance to identify even more strategies to advance the company.

The past two years have demonstrated how important and valuable OT networks are to operations. But an increase in attacks on these systems has shown how weak they are. In today’s consolidated and converged world, it is fortunately now a priority for enterprises to take the following appropriate measures to defend these systems more successfully.

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