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Foreign relations between the U.S. and Russia have been anything but quiet over the past few years.
Investigations into American election tampering made headlines before and after the 2016 election, and the investigation into whether President Donald Trump’s campaign colluded with Russia persists. Alarms recently were raised because Trump said the U.S. would pull out of a decades-long nuclear arms treaty with Russia. And as the 2018 midterm elections approach, Russian hackers have again drawn accusations of meddling.
But another problem in U.S.-Russia affairs looms. And while this topic hasn’t spent as much time in the spotlight, its potential impact is no less worrisome.
In addition to trying to influence poll results, Russian hackers have been accused of targeting operational technology in the energy sector, utility companies and organizations supporting American infrastructure. The Department of Homeland Security claimed in July that hackers had carried out exploits on hundreds of targets, in some cases making enough progress to cause power outages.
These attacks on America’s infrastructure shines a light on the role of modern security in operational technology – the interconnected systems on which our society depends for essential transactions and supply of basic resources. For years, companies managing these systems have been slow to update their technologies or several reasons that can be summed up like this: The current systems are reliable enough, and these businesses can’t justify the additional cost.
Recent hacking events have shaken the confidence of resource suppliers. Industry leadership understands something must be done. Yet the issue of cost remains a challenge as companies try to determine how they will make their upgrades without passing along so much in costs that they become unaffordable.
What changes need to be made?
Cybersecurity analysts have some recommendations, but perhaps most critical is that the networks supporting operational technologies must be segmented, each protecting itself from a breach on another. Following from that essential upgrade, suppliers need to build updated systems for patching and configuration, authentication and security operations. The software developed for managing these technologies must be revised, accounting for a defense built into the programs.
Lunarline has helped several organizations supporting America’s infrastructure to advance their protections. If you are looking to make enhancements, we are happy to discuss what our products and services can do for you. Contact us online today!
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