How to strengthen cybersecurity protections for critical infrastructure

Immediately strengthen your cybersecurity protections through network assessments

If you really want to tackle cybersecurity threats, you need to understand, manage, control and mitigate the risks to your critical infrastructure. Senior leadership teams and the board are spending time defining the cybersecurity vision and plan but have fallen short of taking action. The time for talking is done. The bad guys will retain the upper hand if organisations don’t build now and remediate along the way.

Identifying and evaluating the external and internal risks for your OT assets.

You’ve got to know what cybersecurity risks you’re going to address and their degree of priority. A cybersecurity network assessment will investigate threats, vulnerabilities, impact and probability of occurrence. It’s designed to provide informed decision making and recommendations for patches and updates.

Evaluate the likely impact on areas such as data availability, integrity and confidentiality, as well as calculate the potential financial impact of suffering a cybersecurity breach. Measuring the cost of a cybersecurity hack includes financial loss from damage to equipment and hardware, as well as intangibles such as damage to brand and lost partner/supplier confidence.

The list of potential threats grows by the day, from hardware failures and interference to interception and impersonation, not forgetting the risk from natural disasters. Vulnerability identification is an essential part of the process, done through analysis, auditing, database referencing, testing and evaluation, and automated scanning platforms.

Questions to ask.

Ask yourself, what are your most critical infrastructure assets and what impact would a data breach or network exposure have on your operations? What business processes will be impacted? Would your organisation be able to function as expected?

Armed with this detail, you’ll be in a better position to customise your cybersecurity and protection controls aligned with your company’s degree of risk tolerance. Depending on the network assessment results, technical controls such as encryption, intrusion detection, multi-factor authentication, or even administration mechanisms could be customised to your environment.

Implement regular, ongoing assessments

 Network assessments should be a recurring event to give you ongoing posture reporting. Performing cybersecurity assessments regularly will provide you with a thorough understanding and adjust as new threats emerge. These insights will help identify and fix cybersecurity gaps, prevent breaches, select targeted solutions and controls to mitigate risks and prioritise assets according to value and level of risk. Ongoing assessments will also streamline cybersecurity efforts by eliminating unnecessary controls and help support any compliance measures.

You can also use the results from ongoing assessments to increase employee awareness of cybersecurity concerns. Data can inform and educate your teams on threats to your organisation, how likely to take place and how to mitigate them. Network assessments can improve the way your organisation communicates about cybersecurity, providing regular updates on possible breaches or a way to report on suspicious activity.

Click here to learn more about how Sapien Cyber network assessments can help you gain insight and protection immediately.