When it Comes to OT, if You’re Standing Still, You’re Falling Behind

When it Comes to OT, if You’re Standing Still, You’re Falling Behind

Posted by HSSL Technologies on Feb 6th 2024

With the rise of cyberattacks on critical infrastructure and the proliferation of connected industrial devices, OT security is more important than ever. I’m happy to announce the addition of multiple new and updated solutions and services to our trailblazing OT Security Platform. These enhancements are specifically designed to better protect today’s complex OT networks and converged IT and OT environments.

OT Security Is Mission Critical

Old OT systems are vulnerable to cybercriminal attacks because they were built during “the air-gap age,” a time when there were virtually no connections between OT and IT. Back then, OT networks were able to implicitly trust everything within them.

But, with digital acceleration, an increasing amount of OT devices are connected beyond their network boundaries. A recent study found that nearly 80% of organizations have more than 100 IP-enabled OT devices in their industrial environments. That’s a lot of devices built without security in mind that need to be protected.

And bad actors are taking advantage of unsecured OT devices. In that same study, we found that three-fourths of OT organizations reported at least one intrusion in the last year, and a third had been victims of a ransomware attack in the last year.

Securing OT environments, however, is complex. Deploying point solutions to protect individual connected devices is tempting, but vendor sprawl is expensive and challenging to manage. Organizations must also contend with the convergence of IT and OT and create a security strategy that addresses the differences in these environments and where they blend together.

Fortinet OT Security Platform: Comprehensive, Integrated OT Security

The Fortinet OT Security Platform is an integrated portfolio of cybersecurity products, solutions, and security services designed specifically for industrial networks and powered by real-time OT threat intelligence.

Because it’s a part of the Fortinet Security Fabric, the OT Security Platform empowers customers with deep visibility across their entire environment, the ability to establish a zero-trust model, and the tools needed to securely facilitate IT/OT convergence. Specifically, we offer a security operations center (SOC) that spans both IT and OT, empowering organizations to standardize security policies with the deep visibility needed to protect all connected systems and devices.

The latest enhancements, which enable OT customers to have greater real-time response across their entire attack surface to defend against cyber and production threats, span two key focus areas: secure networking and security operations.

Secure networking for OT: These solutions converge networking technologies with AI-powered security across all edges to close security gaps and help organizations achieve better user experience.

The new FortiSwitch Rugged 424F is an industrial-class ethernet switch (IES) designed to address the requirements of digital substations and the power utility industry. The switch supports real-time OT networking protocols and integrates with FortiGate Next-Generation Firewalls for comprehensive security and access control.
The new FortiAP 432F access point meets Class 1, Division 2 requirements for use in hazardous OT environments. It can segment industrial Wi-Fi networks to prevent attacks from spreading across unprotected devices and systems. This expansion of the IP67-rated access-point line now enables the deployment of additional OT applications in industries such as oil and gas.
The new FortiExtender Vehicle 211F wireless gateway is a semi-ruggedized mobility solution for connected fleets, mobile systems, and OT deployments. It was also designed to meet the AT&T FirstNet wireless communications network requirements for first responders.
FortiOS, Fortinet’s operating system, has been updated with the OT View dashboard, which correlates and displays important OT data. This dashboard makes it easy for organizations to understand their entire attack surface—both IT and OT—and take action from a single console.

The OT View dashboard displays important OT data according to the Purdue model.

Security operations and services for OT: These solutions seamlessly integrate behavior-based sensors to detect and disrupt threat actors across the attack surface and centralize investigation and remediation.

FortiAnalyzer now includes OT-specific analytics, risk, and compliance reports, providing security operations teams with faster threat detection, asset and vulnerability correlation, and reporting.
FortiNDR, which supports on-premises, cloud, and hybrid deployments, can now analyze more than 15 different OT-network protocols. It also includes AI-powered OT-network behavior analysis to identify malicious network activity and files.
FortiDeceptor, Fortinet’s deception technology for early breach and attack isolation, now supports 30 OT protocols and additional OT decoys to protect diverse industrial environments.
The FortiGuard OT Security Service boasts the industry’s deepest OT threat intelligence database and now covers more than 70 OT protocols and more than 4,000 OT application and device vulnerability signatures. These signatures enable strict access control policies on network traffic and provide virtual patching for vulnerable OT assets.
FortiGuard Outbreak Alerts, an industry-leading cybersecurity resource, now includes critical information about OT-specific threats. This empowers customers with the information they need to harden their systems against new and emerging attacks following the NIST Cybersecurity Framework.

FortiGuard OT Security Service now includes more than 4,000 OT application and device vulnerability signatures.

As IT and OT convergence continues to accelerate, more security leaders are looking at a platform approach to simplify their operations and facilitate their move to zero trust.

Fortinet is proud of our leadership role in OT security, and we will continue to innovate. Because when it comes to cybersecurity, if you’re standing still, you’re falling behind. We want to continue to increase coverage of regional and vertical regulations and standards, outpace competitors, and grow our market share. We know that to stay safe in the real world, the evolution and improvement of OT security solutions are constant requirements.