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cyber for industry white paper


industry OT
16 April 2024

How can you make your production site cybersecure – and compliant?

In industry, as elsewhere, times are changing fast. Buzzwords too. Factory of the future. Industry 4.0. The Industrial Internet of Things. Predictive maintenance. To name but a few.

In an increasingly connected world, automation and digitalization are changing how factories work, making them more efficient and transparent. Yet connecting operational equipment to the internet and exchanging data in real-time also creates unprecedented cybersecurity challenges. These can have potentially devastating consequences for operator safety, the environment and business – from costly downtime to environmental disasters. 

Risks to mitigate and challenges to overcome

Each production site is unique, yet many share similar cybersecurity challenges as they digitalise. Much manufacturing equipment is purchased over a number of years and may well be used for decades – meaning your Operational Technology and cybersecurity project will involve machinery that’s been in place for a long time. Furthermore, organizations frequently use equipment continuously, meaning cybersecurity solutions need to be integrated without disrupting production. Mergers and acquisition may result in operators – and owners – being unfamiliar with the machinery. Operational infrastructure often involves different stakeholders including system integrators with remote access increasing the threat surface. What’s more, assets may have outdated patches of network segmentation leading to vulnerabilities.

And these are just a few examples. You can also add in a lack of skilled cybersecurity talent and increasingly sophisticated hackers, which are making it more difficult to adopt an effective strategy.

However, at the same time, organizations can’t ignore the undeniable benefits of digital transformation. Process automation is increasing efficiency and predictability, while digitalized OT is providing access to unprecedented amounts of data. In this fast-changing digital context, implementing a robust cybersecurity framework offers a path to navigate these challenges and seize new opportunities, driving a transformation that can deliver sustainable success. And keep you ahead of competitors. 

5 ways to make your site more cybersecure

  • Take stock of your assets 

Implementing a purpose-built end-to-end Managed Security Service plays a key role in protecting your OT environments  and knowing exactly what’s going on. It provides comprehensive OT threat detection and triage, asset visibility and vulnerability identification capabilities. This makes it easier for Asset Owners to swiftly respond to cybersecurity incidents, potentially automating some incident response actions.

  • Invest in a Security Operations Center (SOC) 

An SOC is a centralized unit for continuously monitoring and detecting threats, responding to incidents and managing security information and events (SIEM) within your production environment. Investing in a SOC enables you to minimize downtime and production disruptions, protect sensitive data and intellectual property, while maintaining operational safety and reducing environmental impact.

  • Continuously monitor and raise awareness

Maintaining a secure production site requires constant vigilance. Given that cybersecurity threats are always evolving, regular vulnerability scans and penetration testing can help you identify weaknesses in your defenses before attackers exploit them.

Even the most secure systems are only as strong as the people who use them. Rigorous User Access Management (UAM) and ongoing cybersecurity training are essential for a holistic approach. UAM ensures only authorized personnel have access to specific systems and data, while training empowers staff to identify and avoid cyber threats. This combined approach helps minimize human error and malicious insider threats to safeguard your production site.

To support your cybersecurity strategy, our Managed Detection and Response for Operational Technology Solution (MDR for OT) has been specifically designed to meet your monitoring needs, detect any IT or OT threats within your infrastructure, as well as triage & investigate specific cases, including Incident Response and Reporting through asset inventories and vulnerability reports.

  • Achieve compliance along the way

A clearly defined, carefully implemented cybersecurity strategy also ensures, as a much-appreciated by-product, compliance with regulations. From October 2024, all businesses operating within the EU must respect NIS2 cybersecurity requirements – designed to bolster cybersecurity and resilience with stricter requirements and simpler reporting. Simultaneously, the EU’s Cyber Resilience Act (CES) will introduce mandatory cybersecurity requirements for products with digital elements. These kinds of regulations have also been put in place in many other countries worldwide, highlighting the need for a more global approach to cybersecurity in industry.

  • Choose an experienced cybersecurity partner 

Given ever stricter regulations and growing challenges in an interconnected, technology-driven manufacturing landscape, cybersecure OT is no longer optional. 

By drawing on the experience, resources and expertise of a long-standing cybersecurity player, you can build a robust approach that ensures business continuity and safeguards revenue – as well as industrial processes and data. Brand and device agnostic cybersecurity solutions maximize flexibility, while future proofing your security strategy and enabling scalability as you grow.

Keen to harness the opportunities presented by digital OT – without putting your business and people at risk? 
Ready to drive your digital transformation in the long-term? 

Download Ensuring Cybersecure Manufacturing, Production & Operations for insights into challenges and solutions for production sites like yours.

Download Now

Questions about building your OT strategy? Looking to update your cybersecurity? 

Don’t hesitate to get in touch.