Many agencies are working to establish comprehensive cybersecurity measures and see operational technology (OT) devices as a new frontier of activity. To better protect assets, agencies are limiting digital and physical network access and establishing clear detect/response procedures. Through these and similar steps, agencies are gearing up for the convergence of IT, OT, and Internet of Things (IoT) to protect mission-critical assets.
Simply put, agencies need to know what their assets are and be able to identify vulnerabilities.
The challenge with OT
Identifying and securing IT, OT, and IoT assets is a big challenge, particularly since all agencies manage these different kinds of technologies individually.
OT devices are often difficult to secure because they are generally older technology with limited memory and CPU. They need to operate without any potentially disruptive behaviors on or around them. For example, you cannot put agents on most OT devices, and you cannot vulnerability scan most OT devices. Additionally, OT devices have limited maintenance windows given their need to be available at all times, which means patching is done very infrequently. This is in contrast to IT systems, which follow strict security protocols and updates.
But by integrating data from IT, OT, and IoT systems, agencies can gain more understanding of and control over their security posture. In order to secure critical infrastructure fully, agencies need a single source of truth and visibility – especially in an era where timely response to mandates, requirements, and data calls is crucial.
Addressing gaps in OT asset management
To fix vulnerability gaps with OT asset management, agencies need to enhance their current solutions. The first step is to establish total asset management and visibility programs for all OT devices. This involves:
- Identifying and tracking every device on the network
- Understanding its role in the environment
- Determining its level of risk
Vulnerabilities are not limited to software or hardware. They could be a result of unauthorized access or bad configurations. Poor documentation can also be a problem.
With the Axonius solution, agencies can achieve complete visibility across their infrastructure and better understand where security gaps might exist. Axonius helps federal agencies with gathering OT data for an accurate and all-inclusive asset inventory. Administrators can then view everything from devices to users to software, no matter where they are located.
Compliance with federal security mandates and policies
To meet federal security compliance requirements, agencies must keep on top of key policies and directives for OT vulnerabilities and asset visibility. This includes the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) Binding Operational Directive (BOD) 22-01, M-21-31, and CISA BOD 23-01.
Axonius can make it easier for agencies to be compliant by providing a holistic view of assets and vulnerabilities. This holistic approach enables agencies to access a "single source of truth" that’s easily searchable, allowing them to validate security and other configuration policies. This includes an extensive library of over 600 pre-built integrations. Agencies can quickly and easily replace manual processes with a single-day deployment of the Axonius solution.
Manage your entire infrastructure
OT asset management and regulatory compliance are critical in today's cybersecurity landscape. With the rise in threats, both external and internal, facing OT devices, agencies need to take steps to protect their entire infrastructure.
With an easy-to-use, commercial off-the-shelf solution, Axonius Federal Systems delivers full asset visibility and automated compliance reporting, helping agencies reduce risk and meet compliance standards.