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Risk Mitigation Strategies to Close the XIoT Security Gap

August 9, 2023

The Extended Internet of Things (XIoT) has become integral to our interconnected world, but many of these devices lack built-in security measures due to the initial focus on innovation. According to an article by Security Week, understanding the vulnerability landscape of XIoT is crucial to assess and mitigate risks effectively. Recent events have highlighted the need for security:

  • Industroyer2 targeted a Ukrainian electricity provider.
  • Incontroller attack tools aimed at specific industrial equipment were discovered.
  • OT: ICEFALL disclosed vulnerabilities affecting 56 XIoT vendors' devices.

Though IT security research and vendor disclosure programs have existed for years, they are only recently extending their expertise to XIoT. Vendor self-disclosures of vulnerabilities surpassed independent research in the first half of 2022. Nearly 91% of published vulnerabilities received full or partial remediation from vendors.

Mitigation strategies are crucial in industrial environments, where legacy systems need protection. Foundational security measures include:

  • Network Segmentation: Physically or virtually segregate networks to prevent the spread of attacks between IT and OT environments. Micro-segmentation for XIoT devices can enhance security.
  • Secure Remote Access: Isolate critical zones, and secure remote sessions through encryption, authentication, and authorization. Use multi-factor authentication (MFA) and strong credentials.
  • Cloud Risk Management: Securely connect cloud-managed XIoT devices using encryption and certificates. Employ MFA, strong credentials, and granular access control for cloud management consoles.

In conclusion, as organizations continue adopting smart technology assets and devices, the links between them will grow, making them more attractive to threat actors. However, efforts to close XIoT security gaps are advancing, and organizations should utilize available resources to assess and manage risks to critical operations.

Source: https://www.securityweek.com/risk-mitigation-strategies-close-xiot-security-gap/

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