A recent survey report carried out by a global cyber security firm Sophos shows that a total of $706,452 has been paid in ransom to cybercriminals by Nigerian businesses.
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According to Sophos, in The State of Ransomware 2022 report, Industrial Control Safety Systems (ICSS) in critical infrastructure are increasingly exposed to cyber-attacks because of the digitization drive of the industry.
The report showed that as supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) systems, distributed control systems (DCS), and other control systems become connected to the Internet to allow greater business efficiency (remote process monitoring, system maintenance, process control, and production data analysis)-Industry 4.0, they also make the business more vulnerable to threats with the potential to seriously affect critical Industrial Control and Safety Systems.
Exposing the need as to why internal cybersecurity is the new normal, the note shared with Business Post showed that critical infrastructure is classified as the physical and IT/OT assets, networks, and services.
And that, if disrupted or destroyed, would have a serious impact on the health/ security/economic well-being of citizens and the efficient functioning of a country’s government.
“The energy sector and manufacturing industries are critical to the global economy, and their security is of the utmost importance. The integration of operational technology (OT) and information technology (IT) – industry 4.0 – in these industries has also increased efficiency and productivity, but it has also increased the risk of cyber-attacks,” the report explained.
“One of the main challenges facing these industries is the integration of OT and IT systems. OT systems, such as control systems, are used to control and monitor physical processes, while IT environments, i.e., the internet and cloud, are used to process and store data.
The integration of these environments means that cyber-attacks on the Information Technology environment can now directly impact the physical processes controlled by Operational Technology systems.”
To mitigate these risks and be IOT-ready, organizations need to;
“have a comprehensive cyber security program with the partnership of industry experts, which incorporates intrusion detection and prevention systems, firewalls and secure remote access solutions in place, such as those offered by Schneider Electric; with a team of certified experts, delivering holistic cybersecurity programs to help maintain the system defenses, with cybersecurity services such as vulnerability assessments, penetration testing, and incident response planning from an operations perspective, while integrating appropriate IT policies and requirements.”
The report warned that while the integration of OT and IT systems in the energy sector and manufacturing industries has increased efficiency and productivity, it has also increased the risk of cyberattacks.
To remedy this, organizations in these industries were tasked to adopt a cyber security program and posture to maintain profitability to protect against cyber-attacks