Mission Secure: How Critical Infrastructure Companies Battle with...

Mission Secure: How Critical Infrastructure Companies Battle with Cyber Challenges

Catalina Joseph, Gov CIO Outlook | Monday, March 08, 2021

Strong action needs to be taken by all critical infrastructure companies to enhance their cybersecurity posture.

FREMONT, CA: Critical infrastructure companies face unique cybersecurity challenges, given their distributed, decentralized governance structures and large operational technology (OT) environment. This environment does not lend itself readily to conventional cybersecurity practices. Furthermore, many critical infrastructure companies have invested in becoming cyber mature. As awareness of the threat environment grows, top executives at these companies are sharpening their focus on cybersecurity. Billions are spent to defend governmental, corporate, and personal IT from cyber intrusion.  Here is how.

A significant aspect of cybersecurity is the securing of the critical infrastructure. All departments of critical infrastructure companies are dependent on IT, not merely for communications or billing, but for the operation of major physical systems. Most of them deploy IT-based supervisory control and data acquisition systems to monitor and operate the hardware. The good news is that the solutions for these companies are improving. Several incumbent tech solution providers and a growing number of start-ups are developing new approaches and technologies tailored to protect the OT environment.

Top 10 Security Solution Companies - 2019Leaders that deploy these technologies must carefully consider the several challenges and requirements they face. They can then combine technology solutions with appropriate operational changes. If critical infrastructure companies are to manage risk and avoid security-driven delays, they will need to embed security earlier in the process, with investments in developer training and oversight.  Critical infrastructure companies need to set policies, create standards, and work with security experts to create a security framework that incorporates operational specifics. In an ideal situation,  deployment and operation of security reside in OT-level functions, staffed with experts who are skilled in security.

Cost and timing interfere with a company’s responsibility to assess security compliance. Cybersecurity cost benchmarks are not the only factor to consider when deciding on what investment is required. At the early stages of a cybersecurity transformation, program costs may be high before companies can reach a steady state. Companies that conduct a comprehensive assessment of their current cyber maturity and sources of vulnerability can only drive effective long-term spending.

See also: Top Cyber Security Companies

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