Industrial cybersecurity is about combining safety principles from an operational technology environment long with the security ideal of the IT environment. The massive growth of digitalization and IIoT has enabled companies to understand the concept as well as the prominence of industrial cybersecurity. Every industry today is vulnerable to cybersecurity threats. And the sooner companies realize the importance of industrial cybersecurity, the faster they can protect their systems and networks.
Prediction for Industrial Cyber Security
Experts have assessed various industries with regards to cybersecurity, and they have come up with a certain prediction that includes –
The Growth and Adoption of Technology will Pave the Way for New Attacks
The adoption of IoT and convergence of IT will see an exponential increase in 2020 and in the coming years. With their boundaries increasingly reducing, the new reality will pave the way for a new attack that industries should be prepared for. OT systems that encompass different non-standard, legacy, and proprietary protocols, as well as interfaces, will provide tons of attack opportunities.
The Expansion of Critical Infrastructure
The standard concept of critical infrastructure will witness a significant transformation in the coming times. Industries can expect critical infrastructure to become mainstream to include transportation and logistics, building management, food, and beverage supply chains, heavy construction equipment, etc.
OT to IT Threats – The New Reality
Over the past couple of years, we have seen lateral attacks making a strong stance in IT and spreading to OT networks. However, in the year 2020, industries will see the growth of OT to IT attacks. For instance, attacks may compromise the ICS device within the OT network in order to gain access to the IT network. Considering that OT networks are not as protected as IT networks, the attackers will have better chances to penetrate the OT network.
Exposing the Weak Links of OT Security
Attackers will be searching for the least resistant paths within OT networks, and they are likely to target infrastructure like remote locations or branches. Generally, these smaller company sites are connected with larger OT networks and to region grids for energy sources. They have the weakest defenses and are extremely vulnerable to attacks. Subsequently, attackers will be targeting these sites in an attempt to create notable damage.
ICS- as-a-Service Will Gain More Prominence
Cloud will be considered as a reliable way to offer OT security to the location where physical deployment is not feasible. Cloud-based OT security complies with the same acceptance and objection trajectory as other infrastructure where it will rely on Software-as-a-Service tools.
Industries that are Most Vulnerable to Cyber Attacks –
While effective industrial cybersecurity is imperative for all sectors, these industries are especially vulnerable to digital threats –
Cybersecurity attack has witnessed an exponential growth in this sector over the years. The reason why this sector is dealing with increased cyber-attacks is that a majority of institutions are utilizing outdated hardware and software and have unpatched vulnerabilities with the operating systems. Medical institutions regularly store important data such as contact information, residential addresses, social security system numbers, etc. Even then, a lot of systems are not encrypted.
The manufacturing sector industry is expansive and automotive companies, pharmaceutical units, and electronics organizations are most vulnerable to security threats. This is because; these companies offer the most financial leverage for attackers. They can target confidential data of these units and ask for a huge amount as ransom. Attackers can also trader data and intellectual properties with the company’s competitors and earn massive sum in return.
Ever since the financial sector has chosen a digital path, it has been vulnerable to cyber threats. Financial institutions store a massive amount of confidential data and money, giving more than enough reason for attackers to go after them.
We have read about many high-profile security attacks in the past, and the number of these breaches continue to rise at a concerning level. Cyberattack in government sectors exposes public records that may put the entire community at grave risk. Leaking confidential government information further puts the country in a vulnerable position.
With cyber-attacks growing more complex, the need for industrial cybersecurity has become more prominent. If the industries are not prepared to defend themselves from such attacks, they might end up losing money as well as market stance.