Top 10 Basic Cybersecurity Measures
Cybersecurity has now become the need of the hour as we are continuously observing a huge surge in the number of cybercrimes on a daily basis. Most importantly, we can view that almost no organization is spared from the ill effects of ongoing cybersecurity-based crimes as these so-called black hat hacking professionals do not leave any organization from their anti-social hacking attempts.
Moreover, it is technically pretty hard to locate all the present and prospective hackers in society. However, we can sincerely make our move towards a safer IT environment by securing all the IT infrastructures of our working organizations so that these anti-social elements do not get any chance to try their luck on our servers.
Introduction Cybersecurity Measures
There are several basic cybersecurity measures that individuals and organizations can take to protect their networks and systems from cyber threats. Here are the basic cybersecurity measures mentioned below that are required to implement in varied IT ecosystems on distinguished IT infrastructures of target organizations:
1. Maintain an Accurate Inventory of Control System Devices
A person should know the number of control system devices within an organization that is sincerely taking care of the security posture of all the participating systems inside the entire IT infrastructure of an organization.
Maintaining an accurate inventory of control system devices is an important aspect of cybersecurity for industrial control systems (ICS) and supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) systems. An inventory of control system devices should include all hardware and software components, such as controllers, sensors, and actuators, as well as any networks and communication protocols used by the system.
Having an accurate inventory of control system devices can help organizations identify and prioritize vulnerabilities and threats and develop effective mitigation strategies. It can also help organizations identify and track changes to the system over time, which is important for detecting and responding to security incidents.
2. Implement Network Segmentation and Apply Firewall
As a general rule, network segmentation involves dividing a network into smaller, isolated segments or subnets, which can help limit the spread of cyber threats and reduce the system’s attack surface. By segmenting the network, it is possible to limit the access that unauthorized users have to sensitive network areas and control the flow of network traffic between different segments.
In addition, a firewall is a network security system that monitors and controls the incoming and outgoing network traffic based on predetermined security rules and policies. Firewalls can be used to block unauthorized access to the network and to restrict the flow of traffic between different segments of the network.
3. Use Secure Remote Access Methods
Using secure remote access methods is an essential aspect of cybersecurity for industrial control systems (ICS) and supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) systems, as it allows authorized personnel to access and manage these systems remotely. However, it’s also vital to ensure that these remote access methods are secure and protected from unauthorized access and cyberattacks.
4. Establish Role-Based Access Controls and Implement System Logging
Establishing role-based access controls and implementing system logging are important cybersecurity measures for industrial control systems (ICS) and supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) systems.
Role-based access controls (RBAC) is a method of controlling access to resources based on the roles and responsibilities of individual users. By defining roles for different types of users and assigning appropriate access levels to each role, organizations can ensure that only authorized personnel have access to sensitive areas of the system.
Implementing system logging involves recording system-related events and activities, such as user logins, system configurations, and security-related events. Moreover, this information can be used to detect and respond to security incidents and to perform forensic analysis in the event of a security breach.
5. Use Only Strong Passwords, Change Default Passwords, and Consider Other Access Controls
Using strong passwords, changing default passwords, and implementing other access controls are important cybersecurity measures for protecting industrial control systems (ICS) and supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) systems.
Using strong passwords involves creating unique and complex passwords that are difficult for hackers to guess or crack. This can help prevent unauthorized access to the system. Changing default passwords is important because many systems come with easily guessable or well-known default passwords, which can be easily exploited by hackers.
Other access controls include implementing multi-factor authentication, which requires users to provide multiple forms of identification, such as a password and a fingerprint or token, to access the system. Another control is the use of access control lists (ACLs) which specify which users or systems are granted access to network resources and what type of access they have.
6. Maintain Awareness of Vulnerabilities and Implement Necessary Patches and Updates
Generally, maintaining awareness of vulnerabilities and implementing necessary patches and updates is also an essential aspect of cybersecurity for industrial control systems (ICS) and supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) procedures.
Keeping systems updated and patched helps to address vulnerabilities that could be exploited by attackers. This is important for both the operating system and any third-party software that is used by the system.
7. Develop and Enforce Policies on Mobile Devices
Developing and enforcing policies on mobile devices is also pretty crucial for confirming cybersecurity for ICS and SCADA methodologies. As a general rule, mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets, can provide convenient access to control systems and critical data, but they also introduce additional security risks if not properly managed.
8. Implement an Employee Cybersecurity Training Program
Implementing an employee cybersecurity training program is an important aspect of protecting industrial control systems (ICS) and supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) systems. Employee training can help to raise awareness of cybersecurity risks and best practices and can be an effective way to reduce the risk of security breaches.
Moreover, we have also briefed some complementary methods by which an employee could sincerely understand the cybersecurity training program to an employee of a target organization or an organization under risk:
- Develop a training program: Develop a comprehensive training program that covers a wide range of cybersecurity topics, including best practices, policies and procedures, and the latest threats.
- Make training mandatory: Make cybersecurity training mandatory for all employees, including management and IT staff.
- Use various training methods: Use various training methods, including in-person training, online modules, and simulated phishing exercises, to engage employees and make the training more interactive.
- Provide refresher training: Regular refresher training will ensure that employees stay up-to-date on the latest threats and best practices.
- Test employee knowledge: Test employee knowledge through quizzes, tests, and assessments to measure the effectiveness of the training.
- Use real-world examples: Use real-world examples of cyber-attacks and their consequences to help employees understand the importance of cybersecurity.
- Encourage employee participation: Encourage employee participation in cybersecurity discussions and activities to foster a culture of security awareness.
- Regularly review and update: Regularly review and update the employee cybersecurity training program to ensure that it is still appropriate and effective.
9. Involve Executives in Cybersecurity
This methodology is also pretty important for involving executives in cybersecurity, which is an essential factor in securing industrial control systems (ICS) and supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) configurations. Executive involvement can help to ensure that cybersecurity is given the attention and resources it needs to be effective.
10. Implement Measures for Detecting Compromises and Develop a Cybersecurity Incident Response Plan
Under the ICS and SCADA securing systems, implementing measures for detecting compromises and developing a cybersecurity incident response plan are pretty crucial. In addition, these measures can help organizations detect and respond to security incidents quickly, which can minimize the impact of a security breach.
In the bottom line, protecting industrial control systems (ICS) and supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) systems from cyber attacks requires a comprehensive approach that includes a variety of cybersecurity measures. In addition, the top 10 basic cybersecurity measures include distinguished subjects proposing all the necessary steps that a person can take to secure highly confidential information from falling into the wrong hands of a black hat hacking professional.
Moreover, by implementing these measures, organizations can help protect their industrial control systems from cyber-attacks and minimize the impact of a security breach if one occurs. This blog post was initiated by Cyber Varta, An InfoSec Talk Show, hosted by Mohit Yadav, a renowned cybersecurity expert well-known for his outstanding contributions in the field of cybersecurity domains.