Top 5 ICS Pulse Articles: February 2023

The task of cybersecurity often falls to the IT department. But here are five questions every CISO should ask about OT cybersecurity.
Image courtesy: Brett Sayles

Industrial Cybersecurity Pulse’s top 5 articles from February 2023 covered the value of tabletop exercises, how to mitigate risk on the plant floor, why IT/OT convergence requires prioritization and more. Here is our top-performing content from the past month.

1. Tabletop Exercises and IT/OT Convergence: ICS Pulse Podcast Series, Dino Busalachi, Velta Technology

By Tyler Wall, CFE Media and Technology

Tabletop exercises are a great way to help prepare your incident response plan. More than that, these exercises can help push information technology (IT)/operational technology (OT) convergence forward because they force the two sides of the coin (plus the C-suite) to have conversations about securing their industrial environments. For more context on tabletop exercises and IT/OT convergence, we spoke with Dino Busalachi, principal partner and co-founder of Velta Technology, a system integrator that works with OT/industrial control system (ICS) security.

2. IT/OT convergence requires internal stakeholders to prioritize OT security

By LuRae Lumpkin, Velta Technology

It’s important for businesses to ask the right questions when it comes to their digital safety and cybersecurity. IT security needs, by definition, fall to IT departments. However, security needs related to OT are often left unattended. OT is the most essential element of any manufacturing plant. Properly protecting it is a worthwhile investment to keep business operations online and running smoothly. Doing so sometimes means changing the culture within an organization to one that constantly and inherently prioritizes OT security and digital safety.

3. Mitigating cyber risk on the plant floor

By Tyler Wall, CFE Media and Technology

Mitigating cyber risk is a crucial part of maintaining operations on a plant floor. By limiting your attack surface and any potential entry points, there is a higher chance of thwarting a cyberattack. Recently, The Wall Street Journal held a webinar, “Mitigating Cyber Risk,” to discuss best practices. Ari Schwartz, managing director of cybersecurity services at Venable and former senior director of cybersecurity on the White House National Security Council, kicked things off by walking attendees through some principles of cybersecurity.

4. Throwback Attack: German nuclear plant cyberattack is a wake-up call

By Tyler Wall, CFE Media and Technology

In today’s increasingly interconnected world, the threat of cyberattacks on critical infrastructure looms larger than ever before. From transportation systems to health care facilities, the potential consequences of a successful attack on these systems could be devastating. One of the more dangerous parts of critical infrastructure is within the energy sector: nuclear power plants. In 2016, Gundremmingen nuclear power plant was one of the few reported cyberattacks on a nuclear power plant in Europe. The attack was on the plant’s IT systems, which were infected with a computer virus called “W32.Ramnit.” It was discovered on a computer system used to transfer data between the plant’s OT and its corporate network.

5. Ethernet with TSN can provide performance benefits and enhance security

By Thomas J. Burke, CC Link Partner Association

In an open Ethernet world, security is achieved through the management of your devices, the management of your network and the ability to deploy security solutions. Management of devices is enhanced through Ethernet with TSN by enabling a greater level of communications. Devices that have previously been isolated to control networks are now accessible for configuration or management without the need to reconfigure your communications. As standard Ethernet devices, many are leveraging common IT tools for management, such as Simple Network Management Protocol. Management of your network is enhanced through the use of newer network switches that are TSN capable. These can fall into managed and unmanaged categories, depending on your level of IT involvement, but more capable switches will certainly deliver greater capabilities in network security.




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