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Legacy Vulnerabilities Risk Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity

In any world conflict, one of the primary threats posed is cyber actors disabling or destroying the core infrastructure of the adversary. Based on the global reaction to the current world conflict, countries fear reprisals. The worry is, will there be collateral damage to the critical infrastructure of other countries not directly involved in the current conflict – whether it be energy infrastructure, water supply or financial systems.

That’s especially concerning given that in the United States, nuclear facilities, water systems, highways and other critical infrastructure elements have not been maintained to the extent they should be, including the software and technology that support it.

As a result, cyber concerns around critical infrastructure are realistic. “The convergence of [information technology] and [operational technology (OT)], along with the layering of third-party digital products and services over legacy systems in critical infrastructure often compounds the limited visibility and control security teams have.

State and local governments were seeing increased threats against critical infrastructure. Security software found that such attacks increased 102% in the first half of 2021. On March 7, the FBI issued a flash warning about ransomware, which had been identified as affecting at least 52 entities across 10 critical infrastructure sectors. In February, it issued an advisory about ransomware that had compromised businesses in at least three U.S. critical infrastructure sectors.

Resource constraints such as budgets and staffing are also issues. For example, some smaller agencies and townships don’t have an IT department, forcing them to outsource cybersecurity or rely on unskilled employees. Congress’s recent allocation of $2 billion to cybersecurity in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law can help because the funds can be applied to critical infrastructure upgrades at all levels of government.

Two things that agencies must focus on are implementing information and technology management best practices, such as multifactor authentication, network segmentation and access control, and implementing quantitative risk management. Modernisation can also bolster security. “As agencies look to adopt cloud, they should choose a cloud vendor that can meet or exceed their defined data and security requirements.

In the long term, however, agencies must adopt a security framework. He recommends the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s Cybersecurity Framework and participating in InfraGard, a partnership between the FBI and the private sector for the protection of U.S. critical infrastructure. Agencies can gain access to guidance, conferences, webinars and alerts of the latest cyber threats. State and local entities can get involved in their localised section of InfraGard for their state or city.

As reported by OpenGov Asia, to improve coordination and bolster cybersecurity efforts related to data collection and information sharing, New York has launched the Joint Security Operations Center (JSOC) to bring together federal, state, county, local governments and critical infrastructure partners. JSOC will provide leaders from across the state a comprehensive overview of the cyber-threat landscape and improve coordination regarding threat intelligence and incident response.

JSOC will become a first-of-its-kind data-sharing hub designed to improve New York’s cybersecurity posture, officials said. The centre will be headquartered in Brooklyn and offer cybersecurity teams a centralized view of threat data from federal, state, city and county governments, critical businesses and utilities.

This project is part of Hochul’s budget for the 2023 fiscal year, which allocates a historic $61.9 million toward cybersecurity. It will expand New York’s cyber red team program that will broaden the phishing defences, increase vulnerability scanning, expand penetration testing and deliver other cyber incident response services. These investments will ensure that the state can isolate and protect parts of its system if one part of the network is attacked.

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Qlik’s vision is a data-literate world, where everyone can use data and analytics to improve decision-making and solve their most challenging problems. A private company, Qlik offers real-time data integration and analytics solutions, powered by Qlik Cloud, to close the gaps between data, insights and action. By transforming data into Active Intelligence, businesses can drive better decisions, improve revenue and profitability, and optimize customer relationships. Qlik serves more than 38,000 active customers in over 100 countries.

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As a Titanium Black Partner of Dell Technologies, CTC Global Singapore boasts unparalleled access to resources.

Established in 1972, we bring 52 years of experience to the table, solidifying our position as a leading IT solutions provider in Singapore. With over 300 qualified IT professionals, we are dedicated to delivering integrated solutions that empower your organization in key areas such as Automation & AI, Cyber Security, App Modernization & Data Analytics, Enterprise Cloud Infrastructure, Workplace Modernization and Professional Services.

Renowned for our consulting expertise and delivering expert IT solutions, CTC Global Singapore has become the preferred IT outsourcing partner for businesses across Singapore.

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Planview has one mission: to build the future of connected work. Our solutions enable organizations to connect the business from ideas to impact, empowering companies to accelerate the achievement of what matters most. Planview’s full spectrum of Portfolio Management and Work Management solutions creates an organizational focus on the strategic outcomes that matter and empowers teams to deliver their best work, no matter how they work. The comprehensive Planview platform and enterprise success model enables customers to deliver innovative, competitive products, services, and customer experiences. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, with locations around the world, Planview has more than 1,300 employees supporting 4,500 customers and 2.6 million users worldwide. For more information, visit www.planview.com.

SUPPORTING ORGANISATION

SIRIM is a premier industrial research and technology organisation in Malaysia, wholly-owned by the Minister​ of Finance Incorporated. With over forty years of experience and expertise, SIRIM is mandated as the machinery for research and technology development, and the national champion of quality. SIRIM has always played a major role in the development of the country’s private sector. By tapping into our expertise and knowledge base, we focus on developing new technologies and improvements in the manufacturing, technology and services sectors. We nurture Small Medium Enterprises (SME) growth with solutions for technology penetration and upgrading, making it an ideal technology partner for SMEs.

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HashiCorp provides infrastructure automation software for multi-cloud environments, enabling enterprises to unlock a common cloud operating model to provision, secure, connect, and run any application on any infrastructure. HashiCorp tools allow organizations to deliver applications faster by helping enterprises transition from manual processes and ITIL practices to self-service automation and DevOps practices. 

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IBM is a leading global hybrid cloud and AI, and consulting services provider, helping clients in more than 175 countries capitalize on insights from their data, streamline business processes, reduce costs and gain the competitive edge in their industries. Nearly 3,800 government and corporate entities in critical infrastructure areas such as financial services, telecommunications and healthcare rely on IBM’s hybrid cloud platform and Red Hat OpenShift to affect their digital transformations quickly, efficiently, and securely. IBM’s breakthrough innovations in AI, quantum computing, industry-specific cloud solutions and business services deliver open and flexible options to our clients. All of this is backed by IBM’s legendary commitment to trust, transparency, responsibility, inclusivity, and service. For more information, visit www.ibm.com