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Thursday, 24 October 2019 01:22

Forescout joins global cyber security alliance Featured

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Forescout joins global cyber security alliance Image Stuart Miles, FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Security control solutions provider Forescout Technologies has joined a newly established alliance designed to provide a technical and organisational framework for safe and secure operational technology (OT).

Announcing the decision, Forescout said the alliance - the Operational Technology Cyber Security Alliance (OTCSA) - aims to bridge dangerous gaps in security for OT and critical infrastructures and industrial control systems (ICS) “to support and improve the daily lives of citizens and workers in an evolving world”.

Industry leaders ABB, Check Point Software, Cylance, Fortinet, Microsoft, Mocana, NCC Group, Qualys, SCADAFence, Splunk and Wärtsilä have partnered with Forescout to establish the OTCSA.

Forescout outlined the OTCSA five-fold mission as:

  • strengthen cyber-physical risk posture of OT environments and interfaces for OT/IT interconnectivity
  • guide OT operators on how to protect their OT infrastructure based on a risk management process and reference architectures/designs, which are demonstrably compliant with regulations and international standards such as IEC 62443
  • guide OT suppliers on secure OT system architectures, relevant interfaces and security functionalities
  • support the procurement, development, installation, operation, maintenance, and implementation of a safer, more secure critical infrastructure
  • accelerate the time to adoption of safer, more secure critical infrastructures.

Forescout says that with 60 percent of organisations using ICS indicating that they experienced a breach in their systems in the past year, and 97 percent acknowledging security challenges because of the convergence of IT and OT, “the need for the OTCSA is critical”.

“Cyber-attacks on OT and critical infrastructures are on the rise and they are impacting business risk across all industries – from disrupting manufacturing systems to halting safety services. Threats to OT can have potential impacts in scope and scale greater than in information-only environments, including negative financial impact, ecological damage and loss of life,” Forescout notes.

“Critical infrastructures and industrial control systems are essential to organisation revenue and profits and the global economy,” said Damiano Bolzoni, vice president of industrial and OT business, Forescout.

“As the market leader in device visibility and control, Forescout is committed to collaborating with the industry to establish architectural, implementation and process guidelines that further strengthens the cyber security risk posture and resiliency of operational technology.”

According to Forescout, until now, there has been no industry group focused on improving cyber risk posture by providing tangible architectural, implementation, and process guidelines to OT operators and solution providers so that they can navigate necessary changes, upgrades and integrations to evolving industry standards and regulations.

“These robust security guidelines will cover the entire lifecycle - procurement, development, deployment, installation, operation, maintenance and decommission - and address aspects related to people, process, and technology,” Forescout said.

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Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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