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André PhilippOctober 10, 20232 min read

5 Steps to Start Protecting Your Industrial Assets from a Cyber Attack

The threat of a cyber-attack weighs heavily on any industrial organization. It can lead to lost productivity, a data breach, or even full shutdown, all of which equates to significant financial loss. Take the right steps now to prioritize and prepare your defenses so they can be your best bet to mitigate the growing risks.

Safeguarding large and complex industrial operations from an OT cyber-attack is a major responsibility, a task that’s been moved to the top of many industrial agendas in the light of today’s expansive cyber threat landscape. As a result, asset owners are ramping up investments in protocols and security measures designed to protect their critical infrastructure when an attack occurs.

“Unfortunately, there’s no magic box of tricks you can buy that can defend every industrial company from an OT attack on their infrastructure. An industrial operation is much more complex, and each is unique, with its own unique risks to account for when planning and prioritizing cyber defenses,” explains André Philipp, Chief Architect at Omny.


How can your organization start protecting itself against cyber attacks? 

“The best course of action a company can take is to understand their risk picture, and prepare and prioritize in a more dynamic way, one that’s tailored to your specific industry,” he adds.
Philipp believes that by taking a more dynamic and less manual approach to risk management, heavy asset owners will be better positioned when the cyber attack occurs.
He recommends five key steps for industrial organizations to take to start prioritizing and preparing for an OT cyber attack in a more effective way:

1. Know what you have.

To be able to understand what to prioritize in your risk management plan, you must know what you have. Conduct a full assessment of all the controls you have in place. This is most effective when you follow a framework tailor-made for your industry and accounts for your differences.


2. Identify your core values.

Know which assets or parts of the system will have the greatest impact if attacked. These are your crown jewels that must be prioritized.


3. Weigh the threat landscape against your assets.

Analyze what you have and weigh that against the threats out there, especially the ones that target your industry. Assess what’s likely to happen and what makes sense to protect.


4. Invest wisely.

Based on the analysis, identify the areas that will give you the biggest bang for your buck. Ask yourself: what are the most effective actions you can take to protect your crown jewels? Weigh those needs against costs to determine where it’s smartest to invest.


5. Make it dynamic.

The days of doing risk analysis every two to five years are over. The attacks are fast and furious, and evolving all the time.

Use a dynamic system that’s constantly updated with the latest values, so that changes to your security stance can be made continually, not bi-annually.

"For industries today, OT cyber security is essentially about moving from a state of zero analysis (or perhaps sporadic qualitative analysis of risks), to a scenario in which you constantly monitor and stay abreast of the threat environment unique to your industry – and as a result, make smarter investments in your cyber defenses.”


Want a tailored approach to increase your company's operational resilience? Reach out to us below and let Omny help you to better protect your physical infrastructure from a cyber attack. 

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André Philipp

André Philipp is the Chief Architect for Omny. With over fifteen years experience in software engineering, he has focused his expertise in big data and data analytics. His career spans across Norway but is now located in the capital city of Oslo.