The novel coronavirus COVID-19 has proven itself to be extremely infectious and damaging to our society. The CDC provides guidance to prevent the spread of the virus, and protect yourself from infection. Likewise, DHS/CISA recently released new recommendations to protect OT systems from cyber attacks. Here is an exciting corollary:
Grocery stores have become a place of potential exposure that is necessary. Your family won’t survive without food. In the OT world, you are exposed to new threats when connecting your OT and IT infrastructures to allow the movement of critical business information. No business will survive without a digital transformation, so the convergence of IT and OT is inevitable and has already happened in most companies.
When you go to the grocery store, you follow the CDC guidelines and wear a mask. Beyond the mask, you maintain social distancing, follow the arrows down the aisle in the right direction, and sanitize your hands often. You do all of this to protect yourself from the risk of exposure. Today, you wouldn’t go to the grocery store, take off your mask, and touch lots of different produce to find that perfect avocado.
Just like the CDC, the DHS/CISA recommendations are broad: patch, segment, disconnect OT assets from the internet, monitor the network, encrypt traffic, and the list goes on. Patching requires production downtime (if patching is even available on those legacy systems), and segmentation is costly and takes a long time to complete.
Back to the personal side of the story, when you’re at a restaurant (outside, enjoying the breeze, of course), you have to remove your mask to eat and drink. If you’re longing for those days of old when you could hug your friends, leave your mask in the car, and eat inside at a restaurant, you’re not alone. The world is closely watching the leading life sciences companies as they progress with clinical trials to deliver a vaccine to society. A vaccine ensures that your body has the mRNA or antibodies to prevent infection when you are exposed. When you have the antibodies, or your immune system attacks the virus all by itself to prevent infection, will you still wear a mask between courses at your favorite restaurant?
Our mission at Digital Immunity is to help your OT devices become immune from cyber attack. DHS explicitly recommends “integrity checks against a known baseline.” The way we think about this is, “give your OT systems an immune system.”
The human immune system destroys foreign proteins. A vaccine enhances your immune system to neutralize SARS-CoV-2 and prevent the infection of COVID-19. Digital Immunity neutralizes the execution of foreign code in memory at runtime. As the world continues to watch and wait for the potential vaccines, Digital Immunity is here today to help your OT devices become immune to attack.
Will you still wear a mask every moment you are in public when you have COVID-19 antibodies or a vaccine?
Will you still shut down production to apply a security patch when you have Digital Immunity securing your OT devices?
Let’s get back to the good old days of focusing on production improvements and your digital transformation.