Cybersecurity firm amplifies calls for improved security on technology amid continuous reliance this pandemic

May 10, 2021 - 10:07 AM
A man types on a computer keyboard in this illustration picture taken February 28, 2013. (Reuters/Kacper Pempel)

As Filipinos continuously rely on technology amid the COVID-19 pandemic, there is a need to ensure the security of these structures to avoid incidents of cyber attacks.

Cybersecurity company Fortinet said that as the world increases its dependence on technological trends such as 5G technology, wireless and the industrial internet of things (IIoT), cybersecurity might be overlooked by operational technology leaders.

To secure IIoT environments, the following must be considered:

  • Asset management
  • Application visibility and control
  • Intrusion detection and prevention
  • Network access control
  • Network segmentation and microsegmentation
  • Signaling protection
  • IoT platform protection, and logging and monitoring

“Changes in production environments due to wireless, 5G, and IIoT technologies are ushering in a new era of flexibility, productivity, and control for OT-based organizations,” the company said in a blog post.

“At the same time, these innovations expand the threat landscape. Protecting OT (operational technology) systems requires flexible security infrastructure with elements that can evolve along with today’s changing wired and wireless OT environments,” it added.

The cybersecurity firm further suggested that securing OT networks can be done by “employing a robust next generation firewall (NGFW) solution” that is capable of accommodating unique environmental challenges.

“Foundationally armed with a robust NGFW delivers enterprise architecture protection for the entire converged IT-OT network while eliminating potential OT security gaps that cyber criminals are seeking to exploit,” it said in another blog post.

In a survey conducted among industry leaders who manage and maintain OT infrastructure, it was revealed that only 10% have never experienced a data breach.

“Conversely, 58% of organizations reported having experienced this type of threat in the past 12 months; thus, more than 75% expect regulatory pressure to increase over the next two years,” the company said.

“By simply expanding the period of consideration to 24 months, we discover OT system breach rates rising to 80%, demonstrating just how much interest there is for cyber criminals to target OT systems,” it added.

Last January, it was reported that the country is seen to further embrace e-governance solutions and digital innovations for financial transactions as businesses shift to the virtual landscape as an effect of the pandemic.