Attacks on cyberinfrastructure are real and are increasing by the day and the dangers are quite serious. From barely 10 in 2013 to around 400 in 2020, attacks on organizations in key infrastructure areas have skyrocketed. That's a whopping increase of 3,900%.
What is even more frightening is the fact that invasions often go undiscovered despite the potentially fatal consequences. Therefore, it is not unexpected that administrations throughout the globe are calling for more regulations on the protection of cyber-physical infrastructure which are vital to society.
The root of the issue is the fact that the pace and complexity of contemporary assaults are too great for the connectivity-based, single-point security techniques of the past to effectively counter. To a greater extent, this is true since operational technology (OT) continues to merge with the technological infrastructure that handles the increasing amount of data of an organization. OT integrates, analyzes, and protects industrial activities (information technology).
Cybersecurity experts agree that "cyber-physical networks" have emerged as a result of the increasing digitization and interconnectivity of the technology underlying key infrastructure. As the experts put it, "CPS is made up of both old assets that were released without any thought to security and fresh ones that are likewise launched with all of their flaws exposed." As a result of this development, key infrastructure, that is based on CPS, is more vulnerable to assault from cybercriminals and other malicious actors.
What Do You Mean By Critical Infrastructure?
The United States has identified sixteen different types of infrastructures as "essential," such as but not limited to commercial establishments, telecommunications, electricity, financial sectors, and sewage and water systems. Similar industries have also been discovered in other nations.
All of these sectors are not only essential to the smooth operation of contemporary civilizations but also interrelated; hence, an assault on one might have repercussions across all of them.
A major amount of a country's important infrastructure may be controlled and operated by the government in certain places, but this is not the case in the United States.
Three forecasts for cyber-physical systems
Although it is too early for reliable security forecasts in the field of cyber-physical systems (CPS) in critical infrastructure, the scenarios highlighted by our strategic planning assumptions will encourage you to think through and prioritize your security plans.
The following are the 3, along with what you have to do for each!
1. A G20 member will inevitably retaliate to a cyberattack on vital infrastructure with a proclaimed physical strike before 2024.
Countermeasure: Team up with military officials who would also soon be defending commercial businesses.
2. By the year 2024, 80 per cent of critical infrastructure firms would switch to a hyper-converged approach to preventing IT and cyber-physical threats, ditching their current fragmented cybersecurity service provider in the process.
Countermeasure:Evaluate manufacturers of critical infrastructure equipment and applications in light of best quality security mechanisms, and speed up the rate of integration of the CPS security stack to better minimize risk.
3. Less than one-third of critical infrastructure operators and employees in the United States will comply with federally required security standards for cyber-physical systems by the end of the forecast year (2026).
Countermeasure: For an effective CPS security plan, it's best to take a comprehensive approach, coordinating the management of IT security, industrial IoT, and OT. Find where your resources are lacking, then fill them in, and put money into advanced threat protection.
Suggestions For The Heads Of Cybersecurity Organizations
The aim is to have a unified approach to CPS protection and to include in governance any new security mandates for critical infrastructure. For instance, in the United States, oil and electricity are prioritized underneath the "National Security Memorandum on Strengthening Security for Critical Infrastructure Control Systems," preceded by the chemical and sewage and water sectors.
CPS security stack unification may be hastened by undertaking an in-depth inventory of existing OT/IoT security mechanisms and evaluating independent and multifunctional platform-based security options.
There is rising concern about the safety of critical infrastructure's cyber-physical systems (CPS). Those dangers are quite real and serious. Cyber attacks may have devastating effects but may go undetected for years as the perpetrators plot their next move.
To this end, authorities throughout the globe are calling for stricter regulation of access to mission-critical infrastructure systems.