Cybersecurity and Industrial Network Segmentation: Challenges, Strategies, and Future Insights

Cybersecurity and Industrial Network Segmentation: Challenges, Strategies, and Future Insights

Veracity Industrial Networks recently contributed to an Industrial Cyber article that discussed how industrial network segmentation has emerged as a pivotal strategy amidst rising OT cyber threats. As cyberattacks grow in sophistication, they range from economic motivations to national security risks, underscoring the urgent need for robust defense mechanisms in industrial facilities.

Industrial network segmentation is defined by the author as dividing a large network into smaller, controlled segments, improving security by limiting unauthorized access and containing threats. As cyber threats evolve, industrial organizations must anticipate and adapt with robust segmentation and stay updated with emerging technologies.

Experts weigh in:

• Roman Arutyunov of Xage Security emphasizes that critical industries like oil refineries need multi-layered segmentation.
• Andrew Ginter from Waterfall Security Solutions discusses the need for OT networks to operate independently from compromised IT networks.
• Our own Jason Weber of Veracity Industrial Networks highlights that regulatory environments like nuclear and pharmaceutical sectors excel at network segmentation due to stringent governmental oversight. He also emphasizes the potential of software-defined networking (SDN) in simplifying OT network operations.
• Zane Blomgren from Belden notes that many industries neglect to revisit the impacts of their growing networks on their segmentation, making them vulnerable.

Future-Proofing & Zero Trust: Shifting from perimeter-based security to an identity-centric approach is vital. Zero trust demands restricting access rights to only what’s necessary for an identity, preventing lateral movement of threats.

Engineering: Grade Segmentation: As cyber threats evolve, there’s a push for stronger network engineering at criticality boundaries, especially between IT/OT.

Best Practices and Recommendations: Organizations should start with a defense-in-depth strategy, focusing on training, system hardening, and detection/remediation.

• Roman Arutyunov advises on adapting approaches, emphasizing zero trust, and seeking government guidance.
• Andrew Ginter underscores the importance of preventive protections, especially when the consequences of compromise are severe.
• Jason Weber stresses training, system hardening, and detection/remediation as critical elements of a holistic defense strategy. He also points to the value of SDN for those lacking OT networking skills.
• Zane Blomgren recommends an incremental approach, prioritizing key business assets, and building upon successes.

In essence, the industrial sector must remain proactive and innovative in its approach to cybersecurity, emphasizing industrial network segmentation and adapting to the ever-evolving threat landscape.

To read more, please see the full article from Industrial Cyber.



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