ABB joins OTCSA to protect OT infrastructures

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Tel Aviv, Israel: Zurich-based ASEA Brown Boveri (ABB) has joined OT Cyber Security Alliance (OTCSA). It is world’s first industry group focused on improving cyber risk posture by providing tangible architectural, implementation and process guidelines to operational technology (OT) operators.

Microsoft, Israel-based cybersecurity firm SCADAfence, Check Point Software, Fortinet and others are among the group members.

Operational Technology Cyber Security Alliance (OTCSA)

The OT Cyber Security Alliance (OTCSA)’s mission is to safeguard crucial facilities against cyberattacks, which are now hitting vital infrastructures such as crucial utilities and manufacturing plants.

It puts together members’ technologies, resources and experience to develop tactics, techniques and procedures (TTPs) to protect the operational technology (OT) systems that run facilities such as power stations and manufacturing plants.

SCADAfence, is the only dedicated OT security specialist in the alliance. It aims to play a pivotal role in OTCSA’s mission to work together to safeguard the world’s industrial control systems.

SCADAfence has two of its architects working on the alliance’s technical committee and has already integrated their products, holistic solutions and share years of technical knowledge with alliance members such as ABB, Fortinet and Checkpoint.

“OTCSA aims to bridge dangerous gaps in security for critical and OT infrastructures and ICS to support and improve the daily lives of citizens and workers in an evolving world,” said Satish Gannu, Chief Security Officer, ABB & SVP – Architecture and Analytics, ABB Ability.

“Industry collaboration to establish guidelines is required to quickly advance the posture of OT, which is already a decade behind IT when it comes to security,” added Gannu.

The alliance has been formed in response to the increasingly serious cyber-attacks from international hacker groups, occasionally backed by governments in countries such as Russia, North Korea and Iran. Such groups now routinely use nation-state level malware to attack the OT systems that run crucial utilities and manufacturing facilities.

Since the Wannacry and NotPetya attacks in 2017 that crippled organizations across the world, industrial control systems have been identified as ‘soft’ targets by international hacker groups. As a result, cyberattacks have become more prolific and more serious in their consequences. According to IBM, targeted ransomware attacks have more than doubled since January of this year.

A rapid shift to digitalization over the last few years has exposed glaring new vulnerabilities in utilities and factories not present in the previous generation of stand-alone systems, which traditionally relied on a perceived “air gap” to form a defensive buffer between OT systems and the internet.

“The new alliance enables leading IT companies and cybersecurity companies to work together to introduce new safeguards capable of protecting the West’s crucial facilities against the growing global threat of crippling cyber-attacks,” said Elad Ben-Meir, CEO – SCADAfence.

Israel based SCADAfence is one of the founding memeber of OTCSA and specializes in safeguarding the industrial control systems.

OTCSA founding members: ABB, BlackBerry Cylance, Check Point Software Technologies, Forescout Technologies, Fortinet, Microsoft, Mocana, NCC Group, Qualys. SCADAfence, Splunk Technology and Wärtsilä.

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