Swimlane and Dragos Operational Technology

Why OT Cybersecurity Needs a Low-Code Solution

3 Minute Read

In today’s increasingly interconnected world, a friend of mine recently experienced a terrifying incident that underscored the importance of cybersecurity. His wife, while merely pulling into their garage, lost control of her electric vehicle, which continued to surge forward despite her continually pressing the brakes. The car crashed into their home, causing significant damage to both the vehicle and the building. Thankfully, no one was hurt in the incident, but it served as a stark reminder of the potential dangers that our interconnected world can pose.

From the utilities we use every day like electricity and water, to the devices we depend on for communication, and even the vehicles we drive, a vast network of intelligent control systems surrounds us. These systems, part of our interconnected world, can wreak havoc on our lives if they fall into the wrong hands. Therefore, ensuring the protection of critical operational infrastructure has emerged as a top priority for both information technology (IT) and operational technology (OT) security teams.

The challenge lies in the complexity

OT environments are complex systems that include a broad variety of interconnected industrial control systems (ICS), many of which are legacy systems. These systems are frequently integrated with IT networks, resulting in a multitude of intricate vulnerabilities that are open to exploitation. With the rapid advancement of cybersecurity tools, analytics, and automation technologies, it could be easy to assume that the security solutions currently used in enterprise environments would be adequate to protect these OT environments. However, this is a misconception. The reality is that these OT environments present unique challenges that cannot be effectively addressed with traditional IT security solutions, necessitating the development of specialized security measures tailored to the specific needs and vulnerabilities of OT environments.

Recognizing this vulnerability, malicious actors have exploited this complexity to breach and control industrial control systems for nefarious purposes. In 2023, ransomware attacks increased by 50%.

Partnering to address OT cybersecurity challenges

This understanding led us to form a technology alliance with Dragos, a recognized leader in ICS/OT asset and threat intelligence. The convergence of OT environments, due to the integration of modern IT systems with older, legacy ICS, has resulted in the emergence of a new class of complex vulnerabilities that span across both the IT and OT spectrum.

In this increasingly interconnected landscape, it has become apparent that IT and OT cybersecurity teams can no longer operate in isolation. They must adopt a holistic approach, having a comprehensive view of the entire IT/OT landscape, which has become a necessity rather than an option. This integrated approach should include sharing historical knowledge across domains, which is crucial for understanding the evolution of threats and for designing effective countermeasures.

Additionally, it has become imperative to collect and correlate native indicators of compromise (IOC) at machine speed. The swift collection and correlation of IOCs are a critical part of early threat detection and swift response. It’s also essential for enabling real-time recognition of persistent threats, which often involve subtle, ongoing activities that may otherwise go unnoticed. By identifying these threats in real-time, organizations can respond more quickly and effectively, mitigating potential damages and disruptions.

New solutions for IT and OT cybersecurity professionals

Our partnership with Dragos addresses these critical challenges between modern IT and ICS/OT environments. By leveraging Turbine Canvas, OT experts will be empowered to build low-code custom playbooks with ease and speed. In addition, custom playbooks can directly integrate with Dragos visibility and intelligence information – expanding team knowledge and increasing the effectiveness of their cybersecurity workflows. This will save time and resources while providing institutional knowledge from both IT and OT environments. This joint solution reduces analysts’ workload and enhances the effectiveness of OT cybersecurity programs.Learn more about how Swimlane and Dragos work together to secure critical infrastructure.

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