RSA cyber conference must tackle growing network risks

The RSA cybersecurity conference, which started in San Francisco yesterday, will discuss the growing number and increasing complexity of threats impacting organizations. High on the agenda will be the security of industrial information technology (IT) and operational technology (OT) networks after news of a ransomware attack on a US natural gas compression facility raised concerns about the security of the country’s critical infrastructure. According to the US Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), attackers gained access to the organization’s IT network using a spear-phishing link before jumping onto its operational network.

David Bicknell, Principal Analyst in the Thematic Research Team at GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company, said: “The RSA conference should include discussion of the security of IT and OT networks in industrial facilities because this CISA report raises serious concerns. There have been constant warnings from cyber experts about the need for operational and IT networks to be separated. Cyberattackers should not be able to pivot to the OT network from IT facilities.

“What is equally worrying is that this facility’s emergency response plan considered a range of physical emergency scenarios, but somehow managed to miss the risk posed by cyberattacks. If this facility failed to consider a cyber threat, how many other industrial facilities worldwide have similarly failed to plan for a cyberattack?”

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