Cybersecurity Isn’t Only for the IT Team: Attacks Targeting Critical Infrastructure

by | Mar 23, 2021 | Critical Infrastructure, Insights

A number of recent high-profile cyberattacks are acting as an urgent wake-up call for organizations across the world.  

In addition to these attacks against tech giants such as SolarWinds, cybercriminals are casting a wider net and targeting critical infrastructure and utilities. A recent cyberattack targeted a Florida city’s water treatment facility using a dormant remote access software.1 The hacker tampered with sodium hydroxide levels to poison the water supply to dangerously toxic levels.  

As these recent trends have shown, utilities are a key target for cyber compromise. Regardless of location, all utility companies are crucial to each and every person in this country. However, the stakes are raised even higher for businesses that maintain critical energy infrastructure for DIB companies. These companies must adhere to CMMC regulations and evolve their cybersecurity hygiene.

Leaders Must Conceptualize the Cybersecurity Threat

Often, it may be hard for those of us in the cybersecurity world to illustrate the danger of cyber attacks to the average person or company. If they aren’t abreast of current threats and monitoring the landscape, it may be easy to underestimate the severity of cybersecurity threats. 

According to the IBM 2021 X-Force Threat Intelligence, attacks on the energy sector doubled in 2020 compared to 2019.2 Manufacturing and energy were actually the most attacked industries overall last year. In addition to manufacturing and energy, attackers also focused on hospitals and medical manufacturers. 

Cyberattacks of this nature show a rather malicious variant of cyberattacks targeting our way of life at its most basic necessity during a worldwide pandemic. They’re waging war when the world is at its most vulnerable. To properly understand the severity, business leaders must conceptualize that we are indeed at war and our adversaries are not playing by any set of rules.

Learn more: Cybersecurity Risks are Business Risks

Adopt a Risk-based Approach to Cybersecurity

Cybersecurity threats are a problem for all businesses, not just IT. Cyber maturity requires a team effort and must start with business leadership through a movement. The IT team may be masters of processes, but you know the business priorities best.

A proactive, risk-based approach is the only way to stay ahead of adversaries. Business leaders must think of cybersecurity outside the box. We can’t rely on conventional methods and expect to outsmart adversaries. Predictable is exploitable.

Compliance Isn’t the Endgame 

Remember, compliance is just the start. To effectively combat these cyber threats, we have to view improving cybersecurity as a movement and strive to grow cyber maturity beyond the standard compliance checkboxes.

Learn more: Energy Companies Must See Right Foe & Outcome for CMMC Compliance & Regulations

Why You Need an MSSP

Organizations across various industries have begun to turn to managed security service providers (MSSPs) to bolster their cybersecurity response. An MSSP acts as a trusted advisor to your organization and takes cyber hygiene and business continuity to a new level. MSSPs offer continuous security monitoring, threat detection, and response to keep organizations one step ahead of cyber threats with a proactive approach.



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