Today’s modern technology makes us more vulnerable and security risks are constantly increasing. A CISO needs to be aware of a lot to avoid that the vulnerabilities are exploited for a cyberattack – something that can have enormous consequences both for the company and for society. We describe six important security risks that you should be aware of!
Technology dependence creates security risks
The world is more dependent on technology than ever before. Companies and authorities store a lot of data on computers and send it over open networks to other computers. Many systems are interconnected, and as digitalisation continues more and more systems will be interconnected.
Digitalisation is not only positive – it also means that we become more vulnerable. Different entities and their underlying systems have vulnerabilities that can undermine the well-being and goals of an organisation. And the problem is that the vulnerabilities are used for cyberattacks.
What can lack of information security lead to?
Lack of information security can have consequences such as the business not being able to be conducted in an appropriate and efficient manner, lack of protection of personal integrity and disruptions in socially important activities.
Deficiencies in information systems can also affect physical assets. Damage to critical infrastructure can have fatal consequences. Incidents that lead to the inability or destruction of such systems and assets can lead to serious crises affecting the financial systems, public health, national security, or combinations thereof.
It can also lead to a deterioration in confidence in services and underlying actors. Serious and repeated disruptions can lead to crises of confidence, which can also spread to more actors and services as well as to other sectors.
Read more about information security and why it is so important!
The security risks you should be aware of
1. Remote control of systems
Many organisations depend on remote access via RDP, for example for suppliers to be able to perform maintenance, or for operating personnel to be able to monitor a facility. Sometimes general connections such as IPsec or TLS are used to connect computer networks remotely. In terms of IT security, such connections mean that both systems are exposed to the sum of the threats that apply to one of the two systems. This also means that there are risks of both incorrect configuration and implementation bugs.
Secure remote access solves many of the security risks that are otherwise associated with such solutions – read more in our solution description!
2. Integration of IT/OT systems
Operational Technology (OT) is a term that includes all the subsystems needed to control and monitor a physical process, such as a power plant or a factory. IT refers to the business and office-based systems that most organisations use. Digitalisation means that IT and OT systems need to be connected, and often the same type of technology is used in IT and OT. The different needs in IT and OT easily lead to technical conflicts that can be challenging to handle.
With secure solutions, you can maintain accessibility and at the same time increase security – learn how to integrate IT/OT!
3. Traceability and logging in security-sensitive operations
Most IT systems generate logs that enable troubleshooting and traceability. To benefit the most from such logs, it is important to combine logs from as many systems as possible in one chronological list.
If you have security-sensitive or zoned systems and want to implement centralised logging, you need to resolve an inherent goal conflict. Logging benefits from having one shared system for all zones/subsystems, but a shared system also increases the risk of attacks. To reduce the risks, a solution is required that protects both log information and all connected systems!
4. Transmission of SCADA information
For many years, companies using SCADA systems have been gradually automated. At the same time, the systems have become increasingly complex and control more and more socially critical functions. This makes them more vulnerable and the challenge will be to continue digitalising in a secure way. At the same time, the need to transfer the information to other networks is growing to be able to work efficiently.
However, transferring socially critical information, for example from a SCADA system to an administrative office network, involves potential security risks. Here, secure solutions are needed that take care of security issues and at the same time enable an exchange of information – read more about one of our solutions about secure transfer of SCADA information!
Since starting with Windows and/or Linux-based systems, the need to be able to update these systems has increased. This need is due to the fact that complex software often contains bugs that should be fixed to ensure stability in the systems.
But making these updates is something that in itself can pose a security risk if not done properly. The integrity and availability of the systems must be maintained and most system updates are normally not sufficiently evaluated in the environment in which they are used or in combination with the applications running.
To avoid the risks and to maintain the integrity and availability of the systems and be able to make secure updates, special solutions are required – read more about them here!
6. The security culture
Cybersecurity today is not only a technical challenge but also a human challenge – it is a matter of security culture. Criminals do not always use only technical shortcomings but often rely on people to access sensitive data and therefore the human factor is the main cause of the most serious security breaches. Building and maintaining a strong security culture is therefore an extremely important part of the work with cybersecurity.
To become better at security culture, attitudes and behaviors need to change. The organisation needs to see cybersecurity and security culture as an activity-critical activity and not as an isolated IT issue – it is also important that the management prioritises the issue. What should define the work with security culture is to think of security as something that enables the work, it does not hinder it.
Read more about how to improve your security culture here!
In our customer cases, you can read more about the challenges our customers have had and how solutions from Advenica raised the level of cybersecurity, increased preparedness for threats and gave the customer increased security insight.
If you want to know more about how security solutions can secure your information and protect your business from cyberattacks, you are welcome to contact us!