Seven of ten boards have accelerated the digital transformation of business processes to accomodate the ability of workers to work from home caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. Urgent and disruptive, this transformation of IT systems exposes ICS/OT environments to hackers like never before.

Protect your IIoT network with continuous testing of your defenses, inspection of all the network traffic, and effecient handling of traffic to reduce costs across the enterprise.

Ensuring Cybersecurity Compliance for Electric Power Industry

Operational technology (OT) networks and Industrial Control Systems (ICS) are increasingly interconnected with IT networks. This interconnectedness has increased the ICS/OT attack surface due to:

• Proprietary appliances and sensors

• Malware insertion via dedicated attacks to take control of critical infrastructure by criminal and nation-state actors

• Third-party remote access for contractors that may have lax security processes

NERC CIP are mandatory security standards for high-voltage electric transmission and power generation. CIP-005, CIP-007, and CIP-010 require utilities to collect and archive network traffic data at the plant and substation level. Network taps can be placed in power plants and substations at multiple levels of the SCADA network. Unlike Span ports, Network Taps don't drop packets, don't need programming, and can be installed where you need them.

IT/OT Cybersecurity Convergence

It's become almost commonplace to hear pundits speak about the convergence of IT and OT security. But how in the world would hacking something like a company's public facing website, impact revenue through the disruption of service delivery?

Good question.

When a website offering pay as you go utility services was hacked, customers lost the ability to prepay their electricity, which effectively turned out the lights. Because prepaid services are offered for a wide range of services, from cellphones to cloud storage they're just one more reason why OT teams are joining their IT counterparts, in a converged security strategy to secure the IT/OT environment.

With the sudden increase in work from home and the resultant surge in digital business transformation, are you ready?

Read Is IT Ready for OT and the Industrial IOT?

Three Challenges Facing Utilities

The US electric generation and transmission infrastructure is one of the most complex systems in the world. Comprised of over 9,000 power plants, and 300,000 miles of high voltage transmission lines, it has a combined generation capacity of one million megawatts.

The utilities that operate this infrastructure face unprecedented challenges from three simultaneous drivers of strategic change:

  • Cyber threats – Countries round the world test for weaknesses in the US electricity grid’s cyber defenses
  • Emergence of Smart Grid – Bringing a new generation of digital controls, computers, data, and internet access
  • Changing Power Mix – Gas-powered plants and renewable sources (solar/hydro/biomass/ wind) are replaceing coal

Fortification strategies have created large-scale adoption of ethernet and an increased dependence on telecommunications networks. This drivies requirements to inspect and monitor traffic on IT and OT networks.

Are you fortifying your IT / OT networks with monitoring tools to identify and root out malicious traffic?

Why Fortify?

It didn't take a worldwide pandemic for Industrial IT teams to realize that OT security ought to be their #1 priority. In 2017, a NotPetya attack disrupted vaccine production at a major pharmacutical company, causing $1.3 billion in damages and proved to the world that cyberattacks can cripple the operations of its victims. NotPetya impacted production facilities so effectively, that millions of doses had to be acquired elsewhere just to meet customer demand.

But ICS/OT systems haven't always been vulnerable to attack. While the threat of cyberattack has kept IT security teams awake for the past forty years, the Ukraine power plant hack in 2015, was the first real wake up call to OT teams around the world.

The cyber attack in Ukraine is the first publicly acknowledged cyberattack to result in power outages. The hackers not only demonstrated their ability to infiltrate ICS systems, but also used their expertise in operating the ICS supervisory control systems to shut down substations which left over 220,000 customers without lights.

Industrial Control Systems within our critical infrastructure are under incredible pressure to secure their networks.

What's your gameplan for securing your ICS/OT environment?

Why Validate?

It's been said that there are two kinds of companies. Those who've been hacked, and those that don't know they've been hacked. And in these unusual times, the headlines scream about breaches occuring even at heavily fortified security companies. So how can you be sure that your cybersecurity defenses are actually working?

In a recent Keysight survey, 75% of companies surveyed have been breached on average once each year. Research indicates that only 50% of security professionals are confident in their current security solutions.

Those surveyed indicate their concern about an ever-increasing attack surface; they worry about insider threats with 66% worried about infected employee devices. 55% also worry about the risk of external attacks.

Professionals cope by throwing security solutions at the problem and hoping these tools perform as expected. But continuous security testing of their security defenses would give proof that their security efforts are working.

Why hope, when you can validate?

Explore More: Taps versus Span Port Monitoring

Costs, Coverage, Choices

Network Visibility for IT and OT Networks

IT network staff have been dealing with cyber threats, for the past 40 years. But OT staff are relative newcomers, driven by the shocking increase in ICS critical infrastructure attacks and the need to meet regulatory compliance mandates.

But what exactly is network visibility and how does it help an organization keep its defenses strong and optimize performance?

Learn more about network monitoring and visibility for securing your ICS/OT environment. Start where your IT counterparts do. With a Network Visibility for Dummies guide. While not specific to OT monitoring, this Dummies guide will introduce you to terminology and concepts behind monitoring any network.

This ebook, presented in the straight-forward style of the For Dummies series, describes the concept from the ground up.

Insights Across the Enterprise

Why Keysight?

Digital transformation requires the deepest insights from your network. Pressure test your infrastructure at scale with simulated traffic, validate security with breach and attack simulation, and gain visibility into every packet. Safe, reliable, and responsive networks rely on Keysight.

Keysight Technologies, Inc. is a leading technology company that helps its engineering, enterprise and service provider customers accelerate innovation to connect and secure the world. Keysight’s solutions optimize networks and bring electronic products to market faster and at a lower cost with offerings from design simulation, to prototype validation, to manufacturing test, to optimization in networks and cloud environments. Customers span the worldwide communications ecosystem, aerospace and defense, automotive, energy, semiconductor and general electronics end markets.

Read Smart Cows – A real world IOT Case

Industrial Ethernet for the IIOT

Today’s ethernet based industrial networks are entering a new phase requiring advanced testing that includes system-level validation using realistic application mixes.

The industrial network is made up of different components that serve multiple purposes and work in concert together. Components interacting over the network include programmable logic controllers (PLC), robotics components, motors, sensors, human-machine interface (HMI) devices, and integration switches for the cloud and corporate IT network.

The shared network carries different types of traffic with different time criticality, frame size, and bandwidth requirements. Validation challenges evolve with the application of technologies to solve real network problems. .

The biggest validation challenge is to create a real-life simulation of these workloads in the lab.

Have you validated that this new workload mix hasn't increased your attack surface?

Partnerships to Fortify your ICS/OT Network

Digital business transformation allows enterprises to continue business as usual through increasingly unusual times. Fortify your IT and OT networks now before unwelcome intruders seize control of your IIoT assets. Partner with Keysight and gain market-leading end-to-end insights to innovate, transform, and win in fortifying your Industrial IoT.

Keysight University

Free on-demand learning and certification for engineers at every level.

  • Learn engineering essentials
  • Understand the fundamentals of using your lab equipment
  • Broaden your advanced measurement knowledge with boot camps

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