Security is vital in an industrial network. While industrial networks are designed to be extremely durable and reliable, they are not immune to security attacks and the devastating effects that they leave in their wake. If an industrial network isn’t secured properly, it becomes vulnerable to breaches that could halt production, harm your plant’s reputation, and leak critical information. Due to ever-evolving methods of attacks, changing motives of cybersecurity attackers, and the increased availability of criminal services, continuously searching for ways to increase the security of your industrial network is paramount. To learn how to secure your industrial network and protect your plant’s critical assets, continue reading.
Deploy an industrial firewall
One of the best ways to secure your industrial network is by deploying industrial firewalls to secure industrial protocols. Industrial firewalls have been hardened to monitor and regulate incoming and outgoing network traffic in industrial environments. If your plant has an internet connection, an industrial firewall is essential. In the case that your network is under attack, a firewall will be able to serve as a barrier between your internal network and the attacker. To properly protect your network, a perimeter firewall may not be enough. Instead, consider implementing an individual firewall for each segmented zone of devices in your network. You may even consider putting a firewall up in front of each critical device in your network for optimum security.
Utilize redundant systems
If your equipment is easily disrupted, it will be easier for cybersecurity attackers to infiltrate your network. As such, all active components of your industrial network need to be robust and redundant. Equipment such as switches and routers should be able to support industrial redundancy technologies to ensure that your operations can continue to proceed even if part of your system is attacked.
Exercise a defense-in-depth approach
Unfortunately, there isn’t a single solution to providing your network with complete protection. As such, several different forms of defense and network segmentation is often necessary. Using multiple layers of defense such as physical, electronic, and procedural defense will help protect your network at different system levels. This defense-in-depth approach utilizes policy and procedures as well as multi-layered physical security to protect both networked and high-value assets.