What is OT/ICS system hardening?

System hardening is an elaborate process wherein the risks, vulnerabilities, as well as threats on assets as well as networks, are resolved. The main aim is to make sure that companies can implement cyber-physical processes and operations that are secure and reliable.

 Some of the key components of ICS/OT system hardening are:

  • Software and firmware patching
  • Configuration is secured
  • Restriction of user and account access
  • Facilitating security of network connectivity
  • Elimination of any software that is unnecessary
  • Making sure that there are proper backups

Elements of Eonia Solution’s OT System Hardening

To harden OT systems, there is a need to incorporate a set of integrated actions in order to address a few risks and create compensating controls for others

  • Patch Review
    Look at the available patches associated with security criticality, system relevance, as well as OEM vendor approval
  • Patch Gathering and Preparation
    Acquire and bundle up the approved patches from vendors of OS, application, and OEM and integrate them into the delivery mechanism
  • Assess and Validate Patches
    If there are patches that do not demonstrate any vendor approval, it is recommended to try it on a system that is either redundant or singular, following which you can track and review it
  • Patch Deployment
    Make use of our Security Center as well as our OT/ICS services team, who will assist you in deploying the patches to various machines that require them. It is crucial to implement OT/ICS network hardening for security due to an array of reasons:

It is crucial to implement OT/ICS network hardening for security due to an array of reasons:

1. A lot of devices are not designed by taking into account various security concerns. Thus, there is a need to incorporate several mechanisms and integrate different protective elements to enhance their security.

2. A lot of times, it can be quite challenging to employ immediate patching, as it requires compensating controls to ensure optimal security
3. With time, systems that were initially secure tend to lose the effectiveness of their security measures due to the various changes that are made.
4. A lot of times, companies tend to deploy devices that use IT-standard software, which is not only unnecessary but also poses several risks for OT/ICS networks
5. In a lot of cases, these specific devices do not establish connections with ActiveDirectory, and the standard policies that are needed for security are absent
The implementation of remediation that is safe in terms of operations, requires substantial knowledge pertaining to industrial control systems as well as the operations that they handle. Several policies, as well as settings that function well in IT, tend to result in issues with operational reliability in OT/ICS.  Thus, it is important for people who carry out this work to be experts in the complexities underlying the control systems. 
At Eonia Solutions, the team is highly experienced across different OEM equipment, and they possess expertise in different industries, which helps us ensure that the systems and servers are hardened as reliability is maintained. Even documentation does not provide various potential consequences of setting specific configuration settings or the reason why particular service accounts exist. Merely experience and the learnings garnered through several years of working with such systems will help individuals learn more about the various feasibilities.
We associate with our clients to fasten up their ICS cybersecurity maturity through the use of vulnerability assessment outputs in order to quickly shift as well as harden their control systems in order to ensure that their most critical assets are secured.