Over the last few years, there has been a spike in cyberattacks on critical infrastructure and the companies that supply them. The rise in these attacks, and their knock-on effects, has led to questions being raised about security within the industry. 

Ten years ago, the notion of what critical infrastructure was looked very different. Where once it was limited to things like air traffic control, energy supply and hospitals, today’s interconnected society means critical infrastructure extends to far more services like rubbish disposal, weather defence systems and telecommunications providers.


Although traditional infrastructure has received the attention and investment needed to largely keep it safe, newer perceived critical services are at increased risk of attack. 


It is specifically ransomware that poses the greatest risk. Many believe it to pose more of a risk to critical infrastructure than any single nation-state. Interestingly, the size and scope of infrastructure services seem to have little impact on the risk of ransomware - smaller water plants are just as much a target as larger energy grids or gas pipelines.  

How Does Ransomware Work?

Ransomware is a specific type of malicious software that enters a target network and takes sensitive data hostage. Once it has data captured, the victim will receive a ransom note that can run into the tens of millions of pounds. 

Ransomware infects networks via phishing scams, often posing as legitimate emails, web links or social media posts. It is crucial that anyone with access to a network containing sensitive data is clued up on how best to protect against malware. 

As malware evolves, so must the actions taken to guard against it - particularly when it comes to critical national infrastructure. 

 

How to Protect Critical Infrastructure from Cyber Attacks

Although defence is usually playing catch up when it comes to protecting against ransomware, there are several key steps you can take now to ensure your infrastructure is protected.

While all infrastructure companies should take the advice below, security professionals needing to evaluate approaches and methodologies can read our ‘Securing Critical Infrastructure’ eBook now.

Identify critical systems 

Make sure you know exactly which systems are critical to operations and form an understanding of how resilient they are. 

 

Asses which systems are disproportionately at risk 

It is not uncommon for legacy infrastructure companies to operate using highly specialised but often outdated operating systems. These are not always maintained or patched as well as they should be. Make sure you identify which are at risk and should be replaced as older systems are much more vulnerable to modern ransomware.

Assume the worst

Being prepared for the worst-case scenario will mean that if that day comes you will at the very least have an actionable plan in place. This plan should outline exactly how you can reduce your system exposure and remedy any damage caused.

 

Effective precautions you can take include:

  • Segment your network - place critical systems and data behind a firewall and limit access to only those who absolutely need it 
  • Encryption - keeping all sensitive data encrypted means that even if an attacker were to gain access to your network, they would not be able to read any information 
  • Authentication - make sure anyone accessing the network is verified via certificates, tokens and multi-factor authentication methods

Zero Trust Security

We know that ransomware and other malicious threats posed by cybercriminals will continue to evolve. Current CDR technologies use detection to try and identify malware and have thus been prone to evasion and zero day attacks.

Deep Secure’s celebrated Zero Trust CDR is a cyber security technology that delivers 100% malware-free data for your business. It has recently been upgraded to provide protection for critical infrastructure that can’t be beaten. Threat Removal Plus takes a dual approach to security, providing both software and hardware solutions. You can download the datasheet today for more information on how Threat Removal helps your network take a zero-trust approach to security. 

 

Deep Secure’s advanced zero trust technology helps security professionals evaluate the approaches and methodologies they are using to protect the infrastructural services from cyber attack. Contact us for more.


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