Companies, large and small, can minimize risk by maintaining an optimum balance between Operational Technology (OT) and Information Technology (IT). One can reduce OT security and IoT security risks by taking basic precautions. To manage risk for mid-market companies in a healthy way, we list below 13 good habits which a cybersecurity leader should embrace.
Understanding industrial and business processes: The first step is understanding your process, assets, business, and operational KPIs. Risk can be effectively managed by knowing your industrial and business processes.
Risk management should be objective: Risk calculations should be devoid of subjectivity as ‘likelihood’ falls in the subjective realm of things, which can be influenced by a lack of complete data sets and historical data. Be as objective as possible.
Risk efforts should be prioritized: To prioritize your security levels alone, you should step away from security maturity levels or compliance requirements. Compliance is not the end destination but the foundation for your journey, while maturity does not enlighten you all about risk.
Consider stakeholder risk needs: Understand the needs of your stakeholders like board members, C-suite executives, and top-level managers and build enduring relationships with them. You can communicate innovatively about risks to them through risk reports, updates, KPIs, and relevant details. Collaboration with the overall enterprise can help reduce duplication of efforts and help you define, measure, control and mitigate risk.
Don’t reinvent the risk management wheel: By implementing best practices, widely adopted methodologies, and risk management standards, you can help your team save precious time. In addition, you should make the best use of the work being done for you by state security agencies, regulatory bodies and critical infrastructure.
Make resilience a goal: As attacks increase, you can perform better under stress by focusing on security outcomes that back operational flexibility. For example, ransomware resilience can be strengthened by improving your response time and adopting proactive practices.
Embrace a culture for security risk: You should go beyond your cyber protection measures to enhance your risk management efforts. An organization must consider IT security, OT Security, physical security and employee safety. Every employee in the organization should be urged to take responsibility for security to manage risk appropriately.
Be careful whom you trust: You should not blindly trust systems, people and processes just because they are in place for a long time or others depend on them. Instead, continuously ask yourself whether you are doing the right thing or doing enough of it.
Encourage cross-functional collaboration: IT and OT must work closely to align and minimize risk, especially since IT platforms are taking over a larger share of the OT environment. Working in silos allows your adversaries to exploit your weaknesses. Collaboration helps minimize duplication of efforts and helps reduce redundant investments.
Empowering your people: IT technology in the OT environment should be adopted by your security and operational teams. It would help if you held both these teams accountable for the security systems they use and manage.
Building an OT security framework: Adopting, adapting, and leveraging regulations, best practices and applicable standards are not usually sufficient to develop your framework. You should also incorporate your risk management methodology and specific requirements into your framework.
Security should be top-of-the-mind: Your OT security framework should serve as a base reference for infusing risk management practices into the operation, construction, design and planning of your projects and infrastructures. This is necessary to safeguard your OT security program in the future.
Assess the threat landscape: You should understand the geographical realities you operate in, the scope for insider threats and the adversaries. You should incorporate tactical and strategic threat intelligence into your risk management processes.
By imbibing these habits, you will get a fair idea if you are doing enough to protect your business and properly assess the increasing or decreasing risks involved. With its vast experience managing OT security and IoT security risks, Cybalt can be your reliable cybersecurity partner. Cybalt brings you cutting-edge OT security solutions and IoT security solutions, along with a skilled workforce to implement them to protect your organizations from such threats and secure your growth.