Digital technology is a core component now in most businesses—regardless if they’re small or big. However, with the continuous improvement of digital technologies, particularly the internet, and the number of benefits they can bring to companies, many threats and criminal acts have become much easier to execute against companies. Because of that, it’s become highly important for most organizations to prioritize making their networks secure.
It’s especially important for corporate and industrial organizations to fortify their industrial network. Unfortunately, fortifying networks against attacks can be confusing for IT experts, and it’s more confusing for business owners and stakeholders. It’s easy to make mistakes in this aspect. So, to prevent a mistake, be sure to know the do’s and don’ts of creating a secure industrial network.
Creating a secure industrial doesn’t end after you finish creating it—it’s a continuous process. And if you’re unfamiliar with what you need to do to create a secure industrial network, read these pointers and know each one of them so you can try this out.
Do: Periodic Security Checks And Audits
An industrial network will never be secure. A new vulnerability will be discovered and malicious individuals will develop another cyber-attack. Because of that, you should continually perform periodic security checks and audits.
Here are some of the audits you should never forget to do:
- Ensuring that your Wi-Fi Intrusion Prevention System (WIPS) is always up
- Checking if all firewalls are still on and all the policies or settings are enabled
- Taking a look if the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) you’ve indicated before is still in effect
- Seeing if your Intrusion Prevention Systems (IPS) and Intrusion Detection Systems (IDS) are still up and working
Do: Update Firmware, Software, And Hardware
Aside from performing periodic security checks and audits, you should also ensure that you frequently update all your devices and connections’ firmware, software, and hardware. It’s one of the priorities as updates often contain fixes and solutions to recently found vulnerabilities, which can expose your network connections to potential threats.
Aside from that, make sure that your website is also secure. You may want to add another layer of protection to them like having an SSL certificate to ensure that your connection to your sites is encrypted and secured.
Do: Enforce Security Procedures And Policies
Your industrial network’s security doesn’t depend only on your devices and software. Your coworkers or employees can greatly affect the level of security you have for your network. Because of that, you should always ensure that they’re following security procedures and policies.
Some of the common areas and aspects your security policies should focus on are the following:
- Passwords, emails, and personally identifiable information
- Social media and third-party website access and usage
- Access and connection privileges
- Mobile and smart devices and computer usage and connections
- Business continuity and disaster recovery plans
- Data management and backups
Of course, besides enforcing security procedures and policies, you should also keep reminding employees about those policies. You shouldn’t forget about providing security training to all people in your company. And you should also make sure that you’ll discuss cybersecurity heavily in new employee onboarding and orientation.
Together with the do’s, you should know the don’ts. After all, one mistake in creating your industrial network.
Don’t: Only Use Passwords As Your Only Form Of Security
Passwords alone have been proven to be a weak form of security. After all, it has become too easy for malicious actors to capture passwords through phishing. Unfortunately, making your company 100% immune to phishing is impossible.
Because of that, be sure to employ additional layers of security in your network. Other technologies can help and add that much-needed layer of protection like two-factor authentication (2FA) and dual-factor authentication (DFA).
Don’t: Use The Admin Or Superuser Account To Perform Mundane Tasks
The more you use your admin, superuser, or root account for your network, the higher the risk that someone can steal its access or perform dangerous actions with it. Remember to only use an account with the appropriate privileges for the actions that you want to perform in your industrial network.
Don’t: Let Your Employees Self-Study Cybersecurity
Give them formal training and don’t skimp on it. Much unreliable information is available on the internet, and they can put your company at risk because of miseducated employees. Always make sure that your employees are provided with professional training.
Those are the do’s and don’ts of creating a high-security industrial network. Together with best practices, knowing what you need to perform and avoid can guarantee that you’ll have a lower risk of getting attacked or your network exposed to potential attackers.