Why and How Should Manufacturers Build a Collaborative Cybersecurity Squad

Why and How Should Manufacturers Build a Collaborative Cybersecurity Squad

Executives across sectors are concerned about cybersecurity dangers. Cyber events are the top risk for businesses worldwide this year, surpassing business disruption and natural disasters – and it’s simple to understand why. Companies are worried about ransomware and phishing schemes, as well as more sophisticated assaults by bad actors focused on seizing trade secrets, interrupting services, or even inflicting critical infrastructure disruption. Thus, compliance with CMMC security regulations has become important than ever before.

Anyone and everything might be a target in the Internet of Things (IoT) era and linked technologies. This encompasses operational technology (OT) in the industrial arena, which possibly provides a wealth of soft targets for attackers to penetrate but remains unchecked chiefly owing to the walled structure of these activities.

Historically, operational technology (OT) and information technology (IT) teams had different priorities and goals, basically acting as two independent groups. However, in this day and age of increased cyber risks, such a strategy will not suffice. As OT components transition from stand-alone, autonomously controlled pieces of technology to being linked to larger IT systems, these terminals have become vulnerable entry points for bad actors. That implies that merely recognizing the convergence of OT and IT isn’t enough to help lower the danger of cyberattacks; businesses must also establish a cybersecurity function to enable cross-collaboration among these two distinct teams.

Tips for building a collaborative cybersecurity team 

Begin at the top.

To incorporate all facets of security — including physical and cyberspace — security executives must engage company leadership early and establish the direction. Since many systems and operations inside the business have been operating independently for ages, there will inevitably be some variances in how things are done. After all, integrating a physical security solution into an IT network is a significant undertaking.

For example, while evaluating the implementation of a video surveillance system, the OT team may fail to assess the cyber risk of that new asset… However, hackers may. Collaboration is the most effective strategy to mitigate this hazard. Obtain buy-in from leadership teams to focus on physical and logical cybersecurity and develop a checks and balances structure. Using video surveillance as an example, ensure that IT is included in the approval process so that they can identify problems and reduce risk. Provide adequate staff education, including the establishment of awareness and training courses. Leadership and teamwork are crucial for the organization’s overall security.

Create a technological roadmap.

Technology is advancing at incredible speed. New technologies and security products are arriving on the market at the same rate. Organizations must devise a strategy for keeping up and making judgments regarding priorities and procedures. What technologies will be used by the organization? What tools are required? What policies must be implemented? To guarantee the plan’s success, these questions need input and participation from both IT and OT. While the process may appear daunting at times, consider using goods and technology from trusted businesses that can give substantial experience and technical assistance.

Collaborating with a technology provider or developer may also assist in making sense of what is required and what is not. These groups have previously vetted the CMMC regulation solutions, saving the security staff money and effort.

Maintenance is important.

After making an effort to design, create, and incorporate organizational procedures, don’t overlook the most critical aspect of infrastructure protection: maintenance. System upgrades, firmware modifications, and the like are required to tackle known and new risks, but they cannot be carried out without effective coordination in this linked world.

For example, planning a software update may necessitate the shutdown of an OT device. These systems are mission crucial for manufacturing, and any outage can have disastrous financial ramifications since delays cause profit losses on already thin margins. Consequently, if a cyberattack compromises OT systems, the standard IT response of quarantine and shutdown may be impractical. A patch procedure cannot be conducted randomly to cure the problem since it may disrupt network connections and produce a new problem.

To avoid this issue, incorporate facilities from the beginning and determine who will be accountable for upkeep, updates, and fixes from IT and OT. Well beyond the organization’s enclosure, ensure that everyone in the supply chain is informed and aware of recognized industrial control system (ISC) vulnerabilities to avoid avoidable exposures.