Operational Security

Why do we need OT security?

OT security is commonly used to protect Industrial Systems and networks from attacks. Operational technology security is used to protect and control critical infrastructures such as power stations, transportation networks, and smart city appliances.

What are the main considerations of operations security?

The 5 Steps of Operational Security

  • Identify Sensitive Data.
  • Identify Possible Threats.
  • Analyze the Vulnerabilities.
  • What is the Threat Level?
  • Devise a Plan to Mitigate the Threats.

What is ICS?

ICS stands for Industrial Control System. It encompasses both SCADA and DCS. Many infrastructures and raw material systems can be monitored using an ICS network. As an example, in a mining operation, conveyor belts are used; The electric grid's power usage; pressures in a natural gas facility’s valve. ICS networks are mission-critical, requiring high availability and quick response. In many ways, this distinction between IT and OT/ICS systems is exemplified by this emphasis. The Confidentiality, Integrity, and Availability (CIA) triangle ensures that security is a top priority in IT. Integrity and confidentiality come second to availability in OT/ICS networks.

What are the two major differences between DCS and SCADA systems?

The major differences are-

  • DCS is process-oriented, while SCADA is data acquisition oriented.
  • DCS is a process state-driven, while SCADA is event-driven.

What is a DCS?

Distributed Control System (DCS) is a type of process control system that connects controllers, sensors, operator terminals, and actuators. The data acquisition and control functions are performed by distributed processors situated near the peripheral devices or instruments from which data is being gathered. While DCS and SCADA are functionally very similar, DCS is generally employed at large, continuous processing facilities. Operations are almost always controlled onsite rather than remotely.

What is the focus of OT cyber security?

Maintaining control of all physical assets to ensure their safe operation at all times is the primary objective of OT cybersecurity and overrides all other concerns.

What are OT risks?

With the rise of the internet within the industrial sector, OT systems are also being exposed to the same disruptive threats that exist for all internet-connected devices, such as intellectual property theft, Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) botnets, and ransomware attacks.

What are examples of OT?

Examples of operational technology include plant floor control systems, hospital diagnostic and monitoring systems, transportation control systems, automated teller machines (ATMs), civil infrastructure (e.g., tollway automation and water management), and more. Traditionally, while these systems might be computer-based, their technology and communications were proprietary and specialized, and they would be physically isolated from corporate IT networks in the interest of security.

How to integrate OT and IT?

Devices in the OT domain communicate with one or more intelligent IoT gateways, using their own bearers and protocols (e.g., industrial protocols) and in turn transmit data to an integration platform, where data are processed into real-time information used by IoT services.

What are proactive security assessments for OT?

Proactive security measures are all processes and activities performed periodically and continuously within the organization, focused on identifying and eliminating vulnerabilities within the network infrastructure, preventing security breaches, and evaluating the effectiveness of the business security posture in real-time.

Who should the proactive measures for OT security incorporate?

Proactive security assessments for OT should incorporate the following fundamental guiding principles-

  • OT threat modeling
  • Threat intelligence
  • Risk management
  • OT Attack Lifecycle
  • Defense in depth
  • Detection in depth

What is the OT targeted attack lifecycle?

The OT targeted attack lifecycle goes as-

  • Initial Reconnaissance: Identifying exploitable vulnerabilities
  • Initial Compromise: Gain initial access to the target
  • Establish Foothold: Strengthen position within the target
  • Maintain the presence and escalate privileges: Steal valid user credentials
  • Internal Reconnaissance and Network Propagation: Identify OT-specific targets
  • Execute ICS attacks, exfiltrate information, and complete the mission: Execute OT-specific objective.

What Our Customers Say?

Valency Networks is a very techie company, focusing on a continuous improvement in service quality. Our customers like us exactly for that and that helps us keep our quality to the best extent.