Five steps to protecting Industrial Internet of Things infrastructure


  1. Implement layer-7 inspection technologies for improved visibility
    Granular visibility of ICS protocols is a helpful step to increasing intelligence over data traffic. Linking this visibility to users and inspecting file-bearing applications is an essential part of this process. Next-generation firewalls employing advanced deep-packet inspection technology can help to deliver this capability.

    2. Apply zero-trust network segmentation
    It is important to apply zero-trust rules with access allowed on a ‘least privilege’ basis, where users are given access only to the systems they need to carry out their duties. This approach can result in a marked reduction in the number of vectors that can be used by an attacker, while also providing better correlation between user and application.

    3. Use modern tools for preventing zero-day attacks
    So-called zero-day attacks exploit previously unknown vulnerabilities in computer code to breach systems. Tools that can detect and prevent such threats at both the network and the endpoint levels are now essential for protection. A combination of malware ‘sandboxing’ solutions and advanced endpoint protection technology can help reduce the success of such attacks.

    4. Secure mobile and virtual environments
    Mobile devices should be checked for proper configuration before being allowed to access the network and, once on the network, applications should be limited to reduce the potential attack vectors. For virtual environments, virtualised firewall technology should be used to provide better visibility to data traffic.

    5. Use a cohesive security platform
    Many legacy ICS environments don’t have adequate security, and those that do often use security systems with point solution architecture. This can hamper performance, incident response, and administration. Next-generation firewall architecture, on the other hand, along with new models of centrally-connected endpoint security measures, support optimal operation and threat detection.

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