New security threats target industrial control and OT environments

A new Dragos report highlights recent threats targeting industrial control systems and operational technology environments and identifies strategies to address them.

Last year, the range of cyber risks threatening industrial sectors grew and accelerated, led mainly by ransomware. However, the industrial control system (ICS) and operational technology (OT) communities need to devote greater attention to addressing the risks surrounding critical assets, according to new research from Dragos.

Read the full report.

The fifth annual edition of Dragos’ Year in Review report on ICS/OT found that vulnerabilities in 2021 doubled from 2020. It noted that 65% of all ransomware attacks occurred in manufacturing. The report also discovered three new activity groups were motivated to target ICS/OT, including two groups that had achieved direct access to the networks.

The report says that the top challenges the industry needs to address include:

  • Limited or no network visibility: Dragos found that 86% of its services customers had limited or no visibility into their ICS environments. Defenders can see the complete picture of what is occurring across their assets only with full visibility – without it, they cannot identify threats.
  • Poor security perimeters: Although a slight decrease from 2020, 77% of Dragos service engagements involved issues with improper network segmentation.
  • External connections to the ICS/OT environment: The high demand for remote access in the wake of the pandemic found that external links to OT doubled to 70%, posing new attack opportunities.
  • Separate IT and OT user management: 44% of organizations shared credentials, leading to lateral movement across critical assets.

The Dragos report also details “five security controls that, when implemented, have the best value in significantly enhancing ICS/OT networks against threats.”

Find out more about the proactive ways to monitor and address threats and vulnerabilities.

This article was produced by Scoop News Group for CyberScoop and sponsored by Dragos.

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