It is a brand-new year, and by now you would probably hear from someone that they were busy or sharing about their unique virtual SKO experience.
Unlike any other SKOs experiences that I picked up from my 20+ years career, my five sense organs tell me that something is missing this time around. I pondered after three red-eye sessions and concluded that I am missing the touch, smell, and sound of clanking glass and bottles at the drinking hole. A realization that human bonding and emotion cannot ever be virtualized.
In our SKO, VP marketing Zeev spoke about our exciting new marketing initiatives and announcing the new “CloudRay v-taps” product. Articulating “East” and “West” traffic between virtual machines and how virtual infrastructure poses new challenges for NetOps and SecOps.. I chuckled. No pun intended; “CloudRay” was not branded after me as a welcome gesture to welcome. It is just a coincidence and not what a start-up would do.
As the newest member of the leadership team, I succumbed to the invitation to share a blog related to OT vertical. Here you go 😊, Zeev.
In the summer of 2010, the world witnessed an unprecedented glimpse at Stuxnet, possibly the world's first digital weapon of mass destruction. Stuxnet looks for Siemens SIMATIC WinCC/Step 7 controller software and caused havoc to the PLC systems. The world was inevitably shaken by the large-scale cyberattack. Its notoriety is soon amplified by the bold choice of target (one-fifth of Iran's nuclear centrifuges), the malicious scale of damage (thousands of machines),and the nerve- wracking long recovery time towards operational normalcy. Nonetheless, and thank GOD. The consequence could have been much worst. We could be just a heartbeat away from a man-made nuclear disaster or a trigger to WW3.
Fast-tracked to 2021, we witness the technological advances, twenty-plus billion connected devices, and the unstoppable quest for a smarter, greener, and sustainable future. Our trust (do we have a choice?) in our mastery over machines and control of the Industrial Internet of Thing (IIoT) is taken for granted and often time a fleeting illusion.
Our antiquity mastery in axe, spear, and shield to kill and defend is long over. Face it, new Sapiens are no longer the ultimate master of the tools that we had created in this digital era.
If I could wear the Nostradamus hat for a minute, I would predict with 100% accuracy that “a damning and more damaging cyberattack is yet to come”!
So how do we prepare to our utmost ability and shape our cybersecurity defense as we embrace the future? Openness, Intelligence and Agility.
As such, I took the liberty to showcase what I learned from Hitachi ABB Power Grids. The industry powerhouse and thought leader in the OT/IT convergence. The proposed, comprehensive 6 layers of protection
(cybersecurity - Hitachiabb-powergrids.com) framework for their customer operating environment.
The “Defence in Depth” 6 layers protection framework in my view
is not perfect (none in the market is) and could be enhanced with the addition of an Open Agile visibility layer and implemented as
a cybersecurity deployment hub with virtual appliance hosting capability.
The confluence of compute, store and connect aided with visibility intelligence in a pizza box is a game changer to meet current and future challenges.
At Niagara Networks, we believed that such an agile platform will empower CISOs with the power of choice in deploying the right combination of security monitoring tools including NGFW, AI-assisted content filtering tools, “Natural Intelligence” API threat detection tools and Zero-Trust distributed access enforcement. The holistic and vendor- agnostic approach to defend in depth becomes a practical reality.
In conclusion, the on-going tug-of-war between the cyber attacker and defender is expected to continue in full display daily. The future state is unpredictable even with the million-dollar cyber defense investment. Therefore, it is time to rethink the strategic value of the network visibility layer to the cyber-security detect and defense eco-system.
The power of choice and the swift ability to secure the digital substation’s future may just be hinged on this humble agile visibility layer.