June 3, 2024

Network Segmentation to Enhance OT Cybersecurity

Industrial Cybersecurity, Network Architecture

Network segmentation is one of the most effective strategies to enhance OT security.

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The proliferation of digital interconnectivity has yielded an ever-expanding attack surface for critical infrastructure and industrial organizations. Securing these operational technology (OT) systems is paramount to maintaining the integrity, safety, and reliability of operations.

What is Network Segmentation?

Network segmentation involves dividing a network into smaller, isolated segments or subnets, each with its own access controls and security measures. Limiting access to sensitive areas effectively minimizes the attack surface, inhibits the mobility of potential threat actors, and prevents the spread of malware across a network.

6 Key Strategies

1. IT/OT Alignment

Collaboration between IT and OT teams is essential for effective planning and implementation of a network segmentation strategy. This may include employee training and awareness initiatives to ensure all stakeholders understand the importance and benefits of segmentation.

2. Identify Critical Assets

Identifying the most critical assets within your OT environment allows you to prioritize their protection, informing a phased implementation approach that minimizes disruption.

3. Network Mapping

A comprehensive discovery and visualization of all entities linked to a network enables teams to better understand data flows, identify vulnerabilities, and simplify monitoring.

4. Define Network Zones

The segmentation plan should group systems with similar security needs into zones and define strict rules for data movement between them.

5. Implementation

Implement the plan with minimal operational disruption by employing a phased approach, gradually rolling out segmentation measures while closely monitoring the impact on operations.

6. Monitor and Maintain

Continuous monitoring of network activity and segment health, regular updates to security protocols, and routine audits ensure your segmentation strategy remains robust over time.

The Takeaway

In an era where cyber threats are becoming increasingly sophisticated, network segmentation is a vital strategy for securing OT environments. By dividing your network into manageable, secure segments, you can protect critical systems, ensure regulatory compliance, and maintain operational resilience.


Contact us today to discuss segmentation strategies tailored to your organization's needs.


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