February 29, 2024

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U.S. Agencies Unite to Strengthen Cyber Defences

The United States is increasingly tightening its cybersecurity measures and is fostering collaborative efforts between crucial agencies. The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), National Security Agency (NSA), and the U.S. Department of the Treasury have joined forces to provide new guidance. This guidance is aimed at bolstering the security of Open Source Software (OSS) within the  Operational Technology (OT) and Industrial Control Systems (ICS). This underscores the critical importance of fortifying the nation’s cyber defences in the face of evolving threats.

This collaborative effort, developed within the Joint Cyber Defence Collaborative (JCDC) framework, is a pivotal part of the 2023 OSS planning initiative. The initiative’s primary objective is to foster a deeper understanding of best practices for securing OSS within OT/ICS environments, paramount to organisations managing critical infrastructure.

Operational Technology (OT) and Industrial Control Systems (ICS) are integral components of critical infrastructure, but they also face severe cybersecurity and safety challenges. These challenges are compounded by the far-reaching consequences of incidents that can impact life safety and the security of connected infrastructure.

For organisations utilising OSS in OT and ICS applications, adhering to conventional cybersecurity hygiene practices, such as routine software updates, can be challenging. In response to these challenges, the published guidance serves as a comprehensive roadmap to help senior leadership and operational personnel at OT/ICS vendors and critical infrastructure entities manage and mitigate risks associated with OSS use, including those within the software supply chain, and to increase overall resilience through the effective use of available resources.

Clayton Romans, Associate Director of CISA, emphasised the significance of collaborative efforts in developing this guidance. He asserted, “Our JCDC planning effort united diverse cybersecurity stakeholders to identify systemic risks in OSS for OT/ICS and create practical solutions. Our ability to deliver timely, relevant products relies on trusted collaboration with partners. We are optimistic that this ongoing public-private collaboration will further enhance the OSS ecosystem and reduce risks to our critical infrastructure.”

The guidance is structured around a series of recommendations that span from senior leadership to operational areas of an organisation. These recommendations cover critical aspects of improving OSS security in OT/ICS environments, addressing issues such as vendor support, vulnerability management, patch management, authentication and authorisation policies, and establishing a common framework for open-source software.

The guidance aligns with the broader National Cyber Strategy’s objectives to promote public-private collaboration. It complements the CISA Open Source Software Security Roadmap, designed to enhance the security and development of OSS.

This forward-looking effort brings together government and private sector entities to create and execute cyber defence plans to achieve specific risk reduction targets while fostering more focused collaboration. The initiative bolsters cybersecurity and enables organisations to navigate the complexities of OSS effectively.

Its holistic approach, encompassing collaboration between government and industry, underscores the importance of addressing cybersecurity concerns in an evolving digital landscape. It is a beacon for organisations managing essential infrastructure, guiding them towards a more secure and resilient future. CISA encourages all organisations to explore the Joint Fact Sheet and CISA’s new webpage, “Securing Open Source Software in Operational Technology,” for detailed insights into this initiative.

PARTNER

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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CTC Global Singapore, a premier end-to-end IT solutions provider, is a fully owned subsidiary of ITOCHU Techno-Solutions Corporation (CTC) and ITOCHU Corporation.

Since 1972, CTC has established itself as one of the country’s top IT solutions providers. With 50 years of experience, headed by an experienced management team and staffed by over 200 qualified IT professionals, we support organizations with integrated IT solutions expertise in Autonomous IT, Cyber Security, Digital Transformation, Enterprise Cloud Infrastructure, Workplace Modernization and Professional Services.

Well-known for our strengths in system integration and consultation, CTC Global proves to be the preferred IT outsourcing destination for organizations all over Singapore today.

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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. 

PARTNER

IBM is a leading global hybrid cloud and AI, and business services provider. We help 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 3,000 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.

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