December 8, 2023


Tech as it is.

OT Cybersecurity Standards You Should Never Compromise On

OT Cybersecurity

OT Cybersecurity

OT Cybersecurity: Observing tight cybersecurity measures matters significantly as we live in a digital age. The chances are that a serious data breach could cause business damage or even bankruptcy. Such issues could harm your most valuable asset- your customers. 

Note that you may pay millions of dollars anytime you break cybersecurity laws. Take the example of the US credit agency Equifax. In 2019, it was fined $575M for security lapses. Besides, British Airways was also charged a $230M fine in the same year. This was after a data breach that affected approximately 500,000 British Airways customers in 2018.

While it’s almost impossible to stop the most determined hacker, you can avoid most attacks. This can be possible by taking proactive measures. Let’s discover more about what OT cybersecurity involves.

What Does Operational Technology (OT) Cybersecurity Entail?

OT cybersecurity involves procedures and best practices formulated to stop cyber-physical and industrial control systems’ exploitation. 

Digital transformation integrates information technology (IT) with operational technology (OT). Thus, it has become crucial for cybersecurity personnel to implement best practices to safeguard OT systems from cyberattacks.

Industrial control systems (ICS) include digital networks applied across various sectors and services. This is mainly to automate the production processes. From manufacturing plants to energy networks, industrial control systems apply across a wide range of critical infrastructure sectors.

ICS security matters most in cybersecurity. Its importance is evident through the unique risk function connected with the operational technology. Usually, employees at the plant and factory levels tend to be vulnerable to safety risks. 

Global supply networks depend on the constant availability of industrial control systems within ports and shipping nodes. Thus, the public needs access to critical infrastructures like water and energy systems.

There could be severe consequences whenever there’s some disruption across this wide network. The consistent availability and capacity of operational technology are significant for public wellbeing. Ultimately, all OT security standards want to ensure that you and your clients are safe.

It is beneficial to partner with an OT cybersecurity vendor – Industrial Defender. These kinds of service providers help manage your overall OT cybersecurity protocols. This involves the following:

  • Asset management
  • Vulnerability management
  • Network monitoring 
  • Compliance reporting

Indeed, partnering with a trusted OT security company will allow you to understand your organization’s or business’s OT security posture safely and wholly.

What Are OT Cybersecurity Standards, and Which Ones Should You Never Compromise on?

OT cybersecurity standards are several best practices formulated by experts. They intend to safeguard organizations from cyber threats. As a result, it helps improve the organizational cybersecurity posture. 

It’s important to know that cybersecurity frameworks apply to all organizations. This is despite the size or industrial sector your organization is in.

According to the National Institute of Standards and Technology, a cybersecurity standard comprises functional and assurance needs within a system, process, product, or technological environment. 

A well-enhanced cybersecurity standard allows consistency among product developers. It operates as a dependable metric for purchasing security products.

Some necessary cybersecurity standards across the globe, which you should never compromise on, include:

  1. GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation)

This is a flagship policy by the European Union (EU) based on data privacy and protection. It applies to all EU countries.

More so, GDPR applies to organizations that aren’t part of the EU but collect data concerning EU citizens. The standard was implemented in 2018. It’s famous for its high standards of consumer protection. 

Thus, any company with business ventures in the EU needs to comply with GDPR. It helps to secure your business and safeguard consumers.

  1. ISO/IEC 27001

This is a standard set by the international organization for standardization. It focuses on information security management systems, and it forms a part of the broader set of standards (ISO/IEC 27000).

It was formulated to help companies manage the data security offered by third parties. The ISO/IEC 27001 compliance is necessary to protect your company. It clearly emphasizes to your customers how extensively you value security. This standard is more common and applies across the globe.

  1. CIS Critical Security Controls

This cybersecurity standard involves activities that enable companies to safeguard their data against vectors of cyber attack. The CIS security control was initiated when the US defense industry underwent a serious data loss in 2008. 

The resulting chaos stirred the industry to form this standard. It became one of the most powerful cybersecurity frameworks controlling businesses, governments, and other institutions globally. 

Later, the framework became what is now the Center for Internet Security (CIS). The necessary personnel devised the critical security controls (CSC). This is a series of 20 CIS control measures. 

The series of 20 CIS critical security control offers a detailed account of what you should do as an organization to safeguard yourself against instances of cyberthreats.

  1. NIS Directive, ANSI/AWWA G430-14

This standard establishes the minor requirement for the nation’s defensive security plan in the waste and wastewater facilities. It forms part of the EU cybersecurity plan. The NIS Directive is the EU-wide cybersecurity legislation’s first piece. They suggested the EU network and information security directive adopted in 2016. The aim here was to boost cybersecurity across the European Union.

Since it’s a European Union directive, every EU member state began to follow this national legislation, which adopts the directive. It gives EU nations some flexibility to consider their national circumstances. For instance, they’re given the flexibility to:

  • Re-use existing organizational structures
  • Align with the current national legislation

The national procession by the EU member states occurred on 9th May 2018. The three major parts of the NIS Directive include:

National capabilities

This is where the EU Member States must contain some particular national cybersecurity capacities depending on the individual EU country. For example, they must:

  • Have a national CSIRT
  • Conduct cyber exercises

Cross-border collaboration

This is an inter-border collaboration between EU countries. For example:

  • The operational EU CSIRT network
  • The strategic NIS cooperation group

National supervision of critical sectors

EU Member states should supervise the cybersecurity of critical market operators in their specific nations. Some of the critical sectors include:

  • Transport
  • Water
  • Health
  • Energy
  • Digital infrastructure

Key Takeaways

Cybersecurity is vital for both large and small organizations. Observing the set cybersecurity standards ensures that your organizational data is safe from attacks. You get to stay secure from either internal or external bad actors.

Thus, it helps to take the standards seriously. This is the only best way to ensure the wellness of both your business and your clients. It’s also a way to avoid paying the high costs of data breaches.