The year 2021 was the year cybersecurity went mainstream. High-profile strikes such as the Colonial Pipeline ransomware attack in May 2021 and the SolarWinds supply chain hack resulted in a new U.S. Executive Order and associated Department of Homeland Security (DHS) regulations. Threat actors are evolving their tactics faster than ever, while cybersecurity teams attempt to stay one step ahead of those trying to compromise operational technology (OT) and information technology (IT) networks.
Traditional perimeter network security focuses on keeping attackers out of the network, but these measures are vulnerable to users and devices inside the network. According to an IBM X-Force report, 13% of all OT-related cybersecurity issues in 2020 were initiated by insiders.
The other option is the “never trust, always verify” approach, which is the basis for the zero-trust framework recommended by the federal government. Zero-trust architecture repeatedly questions the premise that users, devices and network components should be implicitly trusted based on their location within the network.
This white paper compares the two approaches, traditional and zero-trust architecture, and examines the advantages and drawbacks of each. It also gives examples of situations where one architecture is preferred over the other. It will give readers an understanding of each approach and help them select the best solution for protecting their OT networks.