The convergence of IT and OT systems has ushered in an era of heightened efficiency and productivity. However, this integration has also introduced fresh security challenges. With historically separate and highly specialized systems now interconnected, vulnerabilities for cyberattacks have multiplied. IT systems, typically connected to the internet and thus more exposed, can serve as a gateway for control systems infiltration. OT systems, while largely isolated, can be prone to physical interference and manipulation.  

The Necessity of IT Security Practices in Safeguarding OT Systems

Enhancing IT security is paramount for ensuring the overall security of interconnected IT and OT systems. When attacks commence, they usually strike at the IT infrastructure first, subsequently infiltrating the OT environment. Therefore, it’s prudent to view IT and OT security as two sides of the same coin. They form the foundation for a secure and compliant digital environment in any organization. 

Adopting A Risk Management Approach

To bridge this gap, manufacturers need to adopt a risk-management approach to their cybersecurity. 

A risk-management approach involves identifying, assessing and mitigating potential security threats. This involves carrying out regular security assessments, monitoring the network for vulnerabilities, and implementing appropriate security measures to reduce the risk of attack.  

Crucially, the implementation of advanced tools and technologies for the prompt detection and response to security incidents is paramount. This is where Microsoft’s Defender for IoT comes into the fray. Difenda provides a comprehensive managed extended detection and response (MXDR) solution for the industrial control system environment powered by Defender for IoT. This solution facilitates the consolidation of IT and OT security, rendering a unified view of the network. This all-encompassing view allows organizations to spot security incidents in real time and respond swiftly, thereby minimizing the potential impact of an attack. 

Moreover, Defender for IoT offers deep network visibility, empowering organizations to pinpoint potential security risks utilizing five alert engines. The system can also support operational value, offering valuable data for proactive security measures such as vulnerability mitigation. 

One of the key aspects of risk management is having the right tools and technologies in place to detect and respond to security incidents.  

A Unified View of IT and OT Security Environments

Difenda provides a comprehensive Managed extended detection and Response (MXDR) solution for the industrial control system environment. This solution helps to consolidate IT and OT security and provide a unified view of the network. This allows organizations to detect security incidents in real-time and respond quickly, reducing the impact of any potential attack.  

Enhanced with Difenda AIRO, Difenda’s OT Security Operations stand out with automated triage and response processes within Sentinel. Difenda strategically deploys and integrates both IT and OT security technology allowing us to configure the Sentinel Portal to display both IT and OT data, centralizing alerts into a singular, intuitive interface. This consolidated view expedites our triage process and response efficiency. 

Difenda strategically deploys and integrates both IT and OT security technology allowing us to configure the Sentinel Portal to display both IT and OT data, centralizing alerts into a singular, intuitive interface.

Taking it one step further, Difenda AIRO groups incidents based on indicators of compromise, reducing the volume of alerts and providing a clear focus on potential threats. This integration streamlines incident response, allowing for a more efficient and targeted approach to cybersecurity within the OT environment. 

For example, a denial-of-service attack would involve taking down multiple endpoints, piling up incidents and confusing first responders. Difenda AIRO correlates related events and groups them, allowing analysts to see the “big picture” and trace events more easily to the root cause. 

The solution also provides deep visibility into the network, allowing organizations to identify potential security risks and take appropriate action to mitigate these risks. 

See Difenda MXDR for OT and Difenda AIRO in Action

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