For the past few months SolutionsPT has been educating the market on the potential hazards
posed to OT environments from removable media, and how risks from malicious data being
transferred from a USB device to your network can be mitigated. Whilst ensuring protection from
threats posed by removable media remains paramount to any organisation, it’s time to look at the
bigger picture: data ingestion across multiple form factors.
Whilst removable media threats remain a common threat vector, as OT & IT converges more and
more new threats emerge. Threat vectors that are becoming more and more common include:
- Physical connections to your environment i.e. removable media
- Unchecked transient devices such as laptops
- Malicious data contained in emails
- Harmful data from internet connections
- Unscanned backups which could contain malware
Increased internet connections and ultimately increased use of the internet in operational environments increases the threat that these data ingestion methods pose to OT. Employees, system integrators and contractors continue to bring removable media and transient devices on site, connecting them to your environment physically or via connecting to the network. These stakeholders may also open phishing emails or visit websites containing malicious data whilst connected to your environment. If any of these threats lie dormant and a backup is made of your environment, these threats can then also remain in your backups even after they have been discovered in your live environment.
Therefore organisations must ensure they are scanning for malicious data across all platforms, preferably utilizing multiple antivirus engines to detect all possible known threats and also implementing a form of AI or machine-learning based endpoint protection to detect unknown and zero-day threats.
The SolutionsPT group has partnerships with a number of cyber security vendors who enable us to protect our customers from threats posed by all means of data ingestion. To learn more about how we can help you, please get in touch by emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org or contact: 07810 239891.