Technology is slowly taking over every part of the global industry. Or perhaps, it has already taken over. And with the advent of technology, there has been an increase of a more digitized form of nefarious crimes, and pertinent solutions have risen intrinsically. The manufacturing industry, which was deemed to be detached from all of this because of raw resources and the supervision of experts, has been observing an upsurge in cyber attacks for a while now. And, before anything major can happen, the industry has already taken cognizance of the matter and is looking for solutions.
It is an obvious truth that technology is transcending every second as we speak. However, that not only brings forward the positive sides of it, but also some complex complications. And to encounter the ever-increasing snags, Aasef Iqbal, a senior professional in the OT solutions industry, recently spoke in the event that OT solutions are currently the best option to treat cyberattacks in the manufacturing sector. He also listed out some of the key facets and security implications of OT solutions, which include security information, NGFWs, management, identity access, SIEM, etc.
While speaking about the solutions, he also mentioned two prime examples of OT attacks in the past affecting the infrastructure. One of the examples was the vicious attempted poisoning of Tampa Water Supply that happened in Florida, United States of America. He also expounded on ransomware cyberattack on Honda, Fresenius through SolarWinds Orion.
He said that since engineers are working from home, it has led to an upsurge in cyber-attacks. Any engineer, who is working from home, is working in an environment less secure than his office environment, and any nefarious source can easily hack into that system kept on low-security and then can use tools such as HMI to inject poison substance into the water tank, as seen in the dangerous Florida incident, which can massively impact communities at large. He also added that the security accessed remotely also has been left vulnerable during COVID times, and it also encompasses all known iterations of security systems such as CCTV cameras, HMI, sensors, RTU, PLC, etc. However, although issues are mounting up, Aasef Iqbad is pretty confident that the solution is much closer than we think.
He stressed the fact that all global industries need something called “zero trust access,” which can prevent some serious cyberattack, for example, when they attempt to mix up original code in proxy code. He also mentioned the need for control and close monitoring of all the on-network and off-network aspects so that we can see what and all the changes have been made and from which sources.
Also, Aasef Iqbal expounded that industries must look forward to exploring defense-in-depth planning in the domains OT and ICS. Well, while cyber attackers are becoming smart enough to bypass all the security mechanisms, some skeptics have argued that speaking solutions so openly might not be a very good idea these days.