Digital attacks continue to weigh on the minds of industrial cybersecurity (ICS) professionals. In a 2019 survey, 88% of ICS experts told Tripwire they were worried about what a digital attack could mean for their industrial organization. The rate was even higher for those working in the manufacturing and oil & gas sectors at 89% and 97%, respectively.

Such widely held concern suggests a need for industrial organizations to make greater investments in their digital security posture. Those efforts should begin with strengthening your asset discovery capabilities, an integral part of knowing what’s on your network. David Bisson put it this way in a post for the State of Security:

Organizations can’t protect ICS devices, systems, and networks including those responsible for controlling critical infrastructures if they’re unaware of their existence. Otherwise, they simply use ignorance to assume that they’re secure, thereby placing them into a position of reacting to security incidents instead of proactively defending against them. Even if they are aware of these devices, industrial organizations can still expose themselves to risk by not consistently implementing security measures such as configuration controls.

An incomplete picture of what’s on your network means you might not know which security flaws make your assets a target for digital attackers and which changes might affect the network. This knowledge is especially crucial in today’s evolving threat landscape. Indeed, IBM X-Force revealed in February 2020 that attacks against ICS systems and OT assets had increased by over 2000% since 2018. On top of that, knowing what assets are on your network is usually the first step on your way to complying with any security framework for industrial organizations.

You need to build a complete picture of what’s on your network using asset discovery. But it’s not so simple. Industrial organizations need (Read more...)