TEL AVIV, Israel, Oct. 23, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Zurich-based ASEA Brown Boveri (ABB) has joined forces with IT companies including Microsoft, Israel-based cybersecurity firm SCADAfence and players such as Check Point Software and Fortinet to form the world's first industry group focused on improving cyber risk posture by providing tangible architectural, implementation and process guidelines to operational technology (OT) operators.
The OT Cyber Security Alliance (OTCSA)'s mission is to safeguard crucial facilities from the rapidly growing number of cyber-attacks now hitting vital infrastructures such as crucial utilities and manufacturing plant on both sides of the Atlantic by pooling the members' technologies, resources and experience to develop tactics, techniques and procedures (TTPs) designed to protect the operational technology (OT) systems that run facilities such as power stations and manufacturing plants.
International leading OT specialist SCADAfence, the only dedicated OT security specialist in the alliance, is to play a pivotal role in OTCSA's aim to work together to safeguard the world's industrial control systems. SCADAfence has two of its architects working on the alliance's technical committee and has already integrated their products, holistic solutions and share years of technical knowledge with alliance members such as ABB, Fortinet and Checkpoint.
"OTCSA aims to bridge dangerous gaps in security for critical and OT infrastructures and ICS to support and improve the daily lives of citizens and workers in an evolving world," said Satish Gannu, Chief Security Officer, ABB & Senior Vice President, Architecture and Analytics, ABB Ability™. "Industry collaboration to establish guidelines is required to quickly advance the posture of OT, which is already a decade behind IT when it comes to security."
The alliance has been formed in response to the increasingly serious cyber-attacks being carried out by International hacker groups, occasionally backed by governments in countries such as Russia, North Korea and Iran. Such groups now routinely use nation-state level malware to attack the OT systems that run crucial utilities and manufacturing facilities. Since the Wannacry and NotPetya attacks in 2017 that crippled organizations across the world, industrial control systems have been identified as 'soft' targets by international hacker groups. As a result, cyber-attacks have become more prolific and more serious in their consequences. According to IBM, targeted ransomware attacks have more than doubled since January of this year.
A rapid shift to digitalization over the last few years has exposed glaring new vulnerabilities in utilities and factories not present in the previous generation of stand-alone systems, which traditionally relied on a perceived "air gap" to form a defensive buffer between OT systems and the internet. But today's online always-connected OT systems make tempting targets not only for cyber criminals deploying ransomware, but also for hacker groups sponsored by nation states bent on cyber warfare as well as for cyber terrorist groups aiming to cause maximum distribution and economic damage. There is now rapidly mounting evidence of a growing barrage of highly targeted attacks being directed at vital facilities such as power stations and manufacturing plants.
According to Elad Ben-Meir, CEO of Israel-based SCADAfence, an OTCSA founding member, which specializes in safeguarding the industrial control systems that run such facilities and is one of the founding members of the alliance: "The new alliance enables leading IT companies and cybersecurity companies to work together to introduce new safeguards capable of protecting the West's crucial facilities against the growing global threat of crippling cyber-attacks."
OTCSA founding members:
Check Point Software Technologies
As founding members of OTCSA, we urge other players to also join the alliance in order to work together with us to develop new defenses and procedures capable of safeguarding OT infrastructures against today's increasingly sophisticated and rapidly growing barrage of cyber-attacks.
To learn more about OTCSA or becoming a member, visit: https://www.otcsalliance.org.
SCADAfence is the global technology leader in OT cybersecurity. The SCADAfence platform enables organizations with complex OT networks to embrace the benefits of industrial IoT by reducing cyber risks and mitigating operational threats. The non-intrusive platform provides full coverage of large-scale networks, offering best-in-class detection accuracy, asset discovery and user experience with minimal false-positives. SCADAfence delivers security and visibility to some of the world's most complex OT networks, including the largest manufacturing facility in Europe. SCADAfence enables organizations in manufacturing, building management and critical infrastructure industries to operate securely, reliably and efficiently.
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