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Connected industrial systems are prime targets for cyber attackers. What’s at stake, and how can you protect yourself?

In the era of the smart factory, the industry is becoming more efficient – connected machines, automation, Big Data – but also more vulnerable to cyber threats. According to the Kaspersky ICS Security Survey, 91% of industrial organizations encountered at least one security problem in their IoT environment in 2021. Industry players must adopt best practices to protect their information systems and guard against risks.

The need to protect industrial information systems

Phishing, Ransomware, supply chain attacks… Cyber threats are numerous, as are their consequences for the organizations affected.

An industrial organization that is the victim of a cyber-attack is exposed to a number of risks:

  • Legal: regulations such as the NIS2 directive require organizations to provide a certain level of protection to reduce risks. Failure to comply with these obligations can result in legal action and criminal penalties of up to several million euros.
  • Financial: between the temporary interruption of industry activity and the technical and human costs of repairing the damage caused, a cyber-attack is generally very costly for the industry affected.
  • Reputational: a cyber-attack made public can damage the industry’s brand image, whose security may appear ineffective. Customers may then turn to competitors.
  • Business: disclosing confidential information, such as financial, strategic, or intellectual property data, can jeopardize the industry’s activity and serve the interests of competitors.
  • National: some cyberattacks target strategic sectors for nations, such as arms, aerospace, or pharmaceuticals. The exploitation of hacked data can have severe consequences at the national level. 
  • Health and the environment: Besides business issues, certain cyberattacks can affect public health and the environment.

Faced with the diversity of risks, the security of industrial organizations’ information systems is a priority. 

Read also: Industrial information systems security: what’s at stake?

Industries: what are the best practices to protect against cyber threats? 

Secure all IS entry points 

With Industry 4.0 and connected machines, more and more devices are connected to the corporate IS, making it particularly vulnerable. It is essential to identify and secure all endpoints. A simple USB key plugged into a supervisory computer can be a gateway for a cyber attacker. To be effective, system protection must be global and exhaustive.

Raising awareness and training employees

Many cyber incidents are caused by human error, often due to a lack of awareness or training. To limit the risk, it is therefore essential to raise awareness and train all players in the industrial organization in best practices, such as : 

  • Use complex and varied passwords;
  • Recognizing phishing attempts;
  • Secure devices and access (2FA, SSO, fingerprint) ;
  • Update applications as soon as they become available;
  • Ensuring the safety of connected industrial machines.

Continuous security thinking

One of the main mistakes made by industrial organizations is to think in terms of “one-shot” security, i.e. to put in place all the appropriate measures to protect themselves at a given point in time. Unfortunately, this technique is only effective in the short term: cybersecurity requires constant adaptation to new threats and new uses. You need to be able to identify your vulnerabilities continuously and update your means of protection.

Identifying vulnerabilities

Identifying and analyzing vulnerabilities is a central issue in IS protection. They enable appropriate measures to be put in place. Industrial organizations have two complementary means of doing this: Pentesting and Bug Bounty.

Yogosha: your cybersecurity partner 

Yogosha helps industrial organizations identify vulnerabilities in their systems through various Offensive Security operations:

  • Pentest as a Service: a security audit launched in less than a week for a fixed price. Uncover most of the vulnerabilities in a product and assess its security level at a given time, or plan several pen tests throughout your development cycle as part of a DevSecOps approach.
  • Bug bounty: an in-depth vulnerability hunt with the security researchers of the Yogosha Strike Force. Identify the most critical vulnerabilities with a pay-for-results logic. No vulnerabilities = no expenses: you’re only rewarded for exploitable results.

Our dedicated platform, available as SaaS or Self-Hosted, enables you to manage all your OffSec operations and centralize your vulnerability management strategies.

Stay one step ahead of cyber-attackers and ensure the ongoing security of your industrial information system in line with your objectives and budget.