In 2021, the Marsh report printed what many of us were starting to understand:
“The world’s leading mining companies are now unanimous in reporting that cyber threats are a principal risk to them achieving their goals.”
Cyber Risk: Threats and Insurance Protection for the Mining Sector.
For the mining industry, security is now a principal requirement. So what does this mean and what does “being secure” look like?
The primary principles of secure operations remain the same whether or not they are regulated. Three requirements that keep coming up in conversations about secure operations are as follows.
Visibility of Asset Posture and Activity
In the mining industry, acquisitions are a way of doing business. This collection of acquired mines usually leaves each company with a very diverse collection of assets. As a result, the inventory of control system assets, instrumentation, and communication infrastructure is also very diverse. Keeping an updated inventory of all assets and their security vulnerabilities is nearly impossible.
In reality, an incomplete view of asset security posture can provide significant and undetected attack opportunities to bad actors. Asset inventory and visibility are foundational to a strong security practice.
Strong Risk Mitigation
Most money has been spent on cyber risk mitigation. This spending includes firewalls, endpoint security, malware detection, behavior analytics, and many more tools. Because there are so many mitigation tools to choose from, a systematic approach is very helpful to ensure maximum risk mitigation.
A Response Plan
With stronger regulation around reporting incidents, we are all more aware of how common security breaches are. This makes a response plan essential. The plan articulates which experts get called in to assess damage and restore operations. It also identifies a methodology for communication, reporting, and other post incident action items.
Security has become a necessary companion to the benefits of digital operations. They exist in lock step on the journey to safe, agile, and responsive operations.
Cisco has established itself as a leader in IT security over the last nine years, integrating at least ten major acquisitions into a single solution suite with comprehensive capabilities. In the last few years, Cisco has leveraged this integrated capability into operations side of heavy industry as well with tools that address OT visibility, risk mitigation, and incident response.
The most significant challenge to implementing great asset visibility solutions has been the cost of deploying software at the edge to analyze local behavior. Cisco has integrated this capability into their network infrastructure so one device can provide data switching and routing as well, as an agent to report on asset conditions and behavior. This simplifies deployment and reduces the cost of a parallel infrastructure.
Systematic risk mitigation is a pretty involved process that includes a careful assessment of communication flows critical to the operation. In each flow, every device and operator introduces possible risk. There are a lot of tools that help assess and mitigate risk. The design of an optimal security framework and operation is the key.
Cisco has service teams, partners, and security tools that make this mitigation process very effective.
A good response plan ensures teams and tools are at the ready for quick action. Cisco has service teams, partners, and security tools on standby for quick action. The response tools are integrated into the visibility and mitigation tools so security operations personnel are not learning new systems in a time of crisis.
As a leader in security, Cisco is ready to work with customers to assess, mitigate, and respond to your security requirements. Across IT and OT, Cisco leverages an integrated, world class approach to securely protect your assets. For more information on how Cisco can help your organization, reach out to your Cisco account team or connect with the energy team directly through the following links.