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The rapid digitization of the global economy has made critical infrastructure providers more vulnerable to cyber threats, according to a recent report by the World Economic Forum. As a result, such providers must ensure robust cybersecurity measures, including preventive and reactive, to protect their systems from malicious cyberattacks.

Having secure networks and technology can help critical infrastructure providers of all sizes maintain operations, reduce risk, and withstand digital threats. This paper explores the benefits of investing in cybersecurity services and provides an overview of the various services available. It also examines current trends in ransomware and other security-related issues which may affect critical infrastructure providers.

Understanding the importance of getting adequate support for their networks should encourage critical infrastructure providers to review their security strategies, assess their current resources and capabilities, and invest in cybersecurity services tailored to their specific needs. With integrated threat protection, comprehensive monitoring tools and cloud-based security solutions (such as managed antivirus), they can better protect themselves from data breaches and other malicious activities that could imperil physical assets or systems.

What is Critical Infrastructure?

Critical infrastructure is any system, structure or part of a network that is essential to the operations of a country. It usually includes large and complex information technology networks and systems used by national, regional or local governments and organisations. These networks include transportation, water systems, energy production and distribution, medical facilities, food service, banking services and other key economic resources.

Being digital by design or connecting your critical infrastructure to the internet can provide numerous benefits in terms of cost savings, increased safety and optimised efficiency; however it also can open up your organisation to cyber threats. Digital systems that underpin our everyday lives are vulnerable to attack from malicious actors intent on disrupting normal operations for their financial gain or potentially more long lasting harm by destroying data or modifying existing IT systems. Given the far-reaching implications of these threats, it’s easy to understand why critical infrastructure providers need robust cybersecurity services to ensure the reliability of their systems while minimising potential risks.

Cybersecurity solutions designed specifically for critical infrastructure providers enable you to protect your data assets using encryption and access control measures, ensuring that only authorised personnel can access sensitive assets by your organisation’s policies. Additionally these sorts of solutions can provide precise coverage against an extensive variety of cyber threats including malicious intent from outsiders such as hackers and human errors from insiders like improper training or lackadaisical security protocols.

Critical infrastructure providers must take a proactive approach to their cybersecurity plans to reduce the risk of errors due to complacency or lack of resources when dealing with Day 0 attacks (or zero-day exploits). In addition external monitoring services such as SIEM tool sets can help detect abnormal usage within organisational networks before any actual damage has been done. With the ever increasing sophistication and reach of cybercriminals, it is highly important that those tasked with protecting our nation’s resources be well equipped with the means necessary for providing the highest levels of protection possible from all forms of attack.

Cloudflare, CrowdStrike and Ping Identity to provide free cybersecurity services for critical infrastructure providers

Cybersecurity risk is an ever-growing concern for critical infrastructure providers. Cyberattacks can have lasting effects on a company’s operations, finances, public perception and customer trust—all of which directly affect the safety and security of a nation’s physical assets. Given the current threat landscape, it is more important than ever for critical infrastructure providers to equip themselves with comprehensive security services.

The accessibility of emerging technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT) and cloud-based applications has greatly increased the attack surface area available to cyber criminals. Many critical infrastructure players are adopting these technologies to increase efficiency and make operations more agile. However, the vast amount of data they generate and store provides attackers with lucrative targets, making them vulnerable to malicious actors seeking access to sensitive information or control over physical assets.

This risk is further compounded by supply chain risks, which break down when organisations fail to ensure that all third party vendors provide adequate protection against cyber threats. Large external contractors working on projects related to critical infrastructure networks may be able to use any vulnerability in one vendor’s system to access all vendors’ systems, resulting in a cascading effect that could bring down an entire sector within minutes.

In order to mitigate the risk posed by these threats Critical Infrastructure providers should ensure they have an appropriate cybersecurity strategy in place, with robust defensive measures such as; identity authentication systems; strong authentication credentials; malware/virus scanning tools; and end-point device encryption software are just some ways this can be done. They should also review their existing network configurations regularly and seek guidance from experts in public private partnership initiatives when improvements are necessary. Moreover, organisations should conduct thorough screening processes before engaging subcontractors or introducing new business models encompassing new technology solutions. Additionally, if companies adopt industry standards like ISO/IEC 2700 series standard at a minimum measure, it will help them prepare for any potential cyber attack by following recognised best practices.

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Cloudflare

Cloudflare has recently announced its initiative to provide free cybersecurity services to critical infrastructure providers.

Cloudflare will provide a suite of services, including distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) protection, network firewall, and website analytics. This will help protect critical infrastructure providers from cyberattacks and ensure the security of their systems.

Overview

Cloudflare is a comprehensive suite of cybersecurity services designed to protect mission-critical infrastructure against attack by malicious actors. Cloudflare services are designed to ensure that critical infrastructure providers remain safe and operational at all times, even in the face of advanced persistent threats, zero-day exploits and other cyberattack methods used by malicious actors seeking access to sensitive data or disrupt operations.

At Cloudflare, we understand the risks associated with not protecting critical infrastructure providers and offer a range of services to help reduce their vulnerability risks. We cover every aspect of an IT security posture, from application security to network security – including domain protection, malware defence, firewalls and identity management solutions – and provisioning protection against distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks that flood networks with malicious traffic. In addition, our experts work closely with clients throughout the process to identify their exposure points, understand their concerns and develop a tailored approach that best meets their needs.

Ultimately, our goal is to provide industry-leading solutions and resources so companies can maximise productivity without worrying about payment card industry (PCI) compliance or any other potential liability exposure due to cyberattacks. As cyberthreats become more sophisticated and increasingly difficult for companies to anticipate and defend against, Cloudflare ensures our clients are prepared for anything by providing state-of-the-art cybersecurity solutions from an experienced provider who understands the complexities associated with critical infrastructure management.

Benefits

Cloudflare provides cybersecurity services for critical infrastructure providers, helping protect their systems and networks from malicious actors. Cloudflare’s solutions provide several key benefits that make it well suited for organisations dealing with sensitive data:

• Security: Cloudflare helps critical infrastructure providers maintain secure operations by deploying its distributed server network that blocks malicious activity before it reaches its customers’ networks. With this protection, customers can be more confident that their operations are safe from external threats.

• Performance: Besides its security benefits, Cloudflare optimises performance by managing traffic throughout the customer’s network. This optimization helps reduce latency, improve throughput and enable smarter routing decisions for better overall performance.

• Compliance: Cloudflare’s solutions offer compliance assurance, allowing providers to stay on top of any changes or updates required by regulators or industry standards. Automated tests and reporting tools help ensure the customer remains in compliance at all times.

• Reliability: The underlying platform is highly resilient and ready for any scenario, making it easy to maintain service levels even during extraordinary circumstances like natural disasters or other unexpected events.

These benefits make Cloudflare an ideal solution for providing additional protection and reliability for critical infrastructure providers.

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Challenges

As organisations increasingly rely on cloud-based services and networks, so is the need for improved cyber security. Critical infrastructure providers, responsible for communications, health care, banking, and other essential operations within a nation or organisation, face unique challenges when protecting their data. As attacks become increasingly sophisticated and more pervasive, it’s clear that traditional cyber security solutions alone cannot keep up with the pace of change.

To protect our critical infrastructure networks from sophisticated cyberattacks requires more than reactive threat intelligence. Instead, organisations must address the full range of needs associated with network security:

  • Innovative analytics capabilities that detect risks quickly.
  • Automated protections driven by machine learning techniques to stay ahead of threats.
  • Encryption tools to secure data in transit and at rest.
  • Risk identification tools that spot anomalies quickly.
  • Application firewall protection against web-based intrusions.
  • Complete visibility into all employee activities related to organisational resources.
  • Advanced policies that protect access controls while allowing users maximum convenience and optimal service availability.

To address all these complex requirements, critical infrastructure providers require an integrated cybersecurity suite from a trusted provider — one that can safeguard not only their existing networks but also build in flexible safeguards for the future as traffic patterns shift due to changing user demands or outside factors such as natural disasters or malicious actors.

Cloudflare offers a comprehensive portfolio of cloud-based services and expert consultancy designed specifically for an organisation’s unique needs and risk profile — alongside state-of-the-art network protection powered by Cloudflare’s new Gatebot security platform. This includes both on premise (through our own Firewalls + Endpoint) devices and fully managed remote access points — enabling users to establish secure connections even when away from physical workstations or other corporate devices while remaining invisible to cybercriminals seeking entry points into a company’s network architecture. In addition, our expertise allows us to design customizable plans tailored to an organisation’s specific requirements and adaptable enough to meet changes in scaling needs over time — providing enterprises with comprehensive protection today while allowing them the latitude they need tomorrow.

CrowdStrike

Protecting critical infrastructure providers from cyberattacks is essential for national security. CrowdStrike, Cloudflare and Ping Identity provide free cybersecurity services for such providers.

CrowdStrike provides endpoint protection, detection and response, threat intelligence, and managed services for critical infrastructure providers, helping to protect them from malicious actors. So let’s take a closer look at CrowdStrike’s offerings.

Overview

As critical infrastructure providers adopt digital transformation strategies, they become increasingly exposed to the security risks of the modern digital age. Cyberattacks can potentially disrupt and damage operations and compliance, leading to significant financial loss, reputation damage, and in some cases customer data breaches. To ensure these organisations remain secure in a digital world, they must recognize the need for cybersecurity services and establish an effective defence strategy.

CrowdStrike is an industry leader in cybersecurity services and offers a powerful suite of security solutions tailored specifically for critical infrastructure providers. By leveraging best-in-class technology backed by a world-class research organisation, CrowdStrike gives organisations visibility into threats targeting their network, cloud, endpoints and users while providing proactive threat protection at every layer of their system architecture.

The CrowdStrike Falcon platform offers advanced threat detection engines to detect activities specific to targeted attacks on critical infrastructure providers. This technology stack combined with layered defence capabilities such as SIEM integration and managed security services makes CrowdStrike a trusted understanding partner. By deploying the Falcon platform on your entire environment you can rest assured that your operation will be protected from exploitable vulnerabilities while maintaining peak performance standards across your networks.

Benefits

The physical and digital infrastructure of critical infrastructures such as energy and utilities, transportation systems, data centres, critical manufacturers, and telecommunications networks is increasingly at risk of malicious cyber activity. Installing strong cybersecurity measures is essential in protecting these organisations from a wide range of potential incidents and maintaining the up-time required to keep consistent operations.

By investing in a well-rounded cybersecurity system, organisations can benefit from:

  • Improved data security: Protecting confidential customer data from sophisticated cyber attacks is vital for businesses in the critical infrastructure sector. Access control mechanisms help ensure that authorised users only access sensitive information.
  • Regulatory compliance: Several regulations exist worldwide that require companies to implement state-of-the-art technology systems to prevent unauthorised access or user data use. Cybersecurity solutions help organisations adhere to these standards and avoid fines or penalties for noncompliance.
  • Early threat detection: Cyber threats are constantly evolving, so it’s important to keep up with advanced defence solutions like CrowdStrike Falcon Detect™ which can provide visibility into unknown threats before they can impact your infrastructure. Falcon Detect incorporates indicators of compromise (IOCs) which monitor files and processes in real time, look out for malicious activity such as installed executable software — even if the underlying codebase has been slightly modified — and take proactive steps based upon the severity level determined by AI algorithms within the system.
  • Network defence: Network monitoring solutions protect against external attacks while helping secure all types of communications networks — including wireless transmissions, VoIP calls, video streams, emails etc — against intrusion attempts or manipulation attempts resulting from malware infiltration or other means. Additionally, with unlimited traffic analysis made possible through machine learning algorithms you can easily detect suspicious behaviour before it becomes a major issue resulting in further disruption or downtime caused within your network environment.
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Challenges

Due to their critical importance, infrastructure providers are seen as major targets for malicious actors. Cybersecurity challenges need to be addressed so that these providers remain secure. Several factors make them particularly vulnerable to attack, including lack of resources, outdated technology, and limited understanding of the threat landscape.

Resource Limitations: Budgets and staffing often limit security programs in this sector. This can mean not hiring professionals with the appropriate expertise or providing training and support for existing staff.

Outdated Technology: Security systems of infrastructure providers usually rely on nearly obsolete technology. This can leave them susceptible to attacks from modern adversaries using advanced techniques.

Limited Understanding of the Threat Landscape: Many infrastructure providers lack adequate knowledge about the latest cyber threats facing their networks, meaning they are not equipped to prevent or detect these attacks.

Ping Identity

Cybersecurity is essential for any critical infrastructure provider, and Ping Identity can help.

This service provides cloud security and identity management solutions tailored for critical infrastructure providers, such as Cloudflare, CrowdStrike and Ping Identity, to help protect their networks from data breaches and other threats.

Read on to learn more about the advantages of using Ping Identity for critical infrastructure providers.

Overview

Improving cybersecurity is a challenge for all organisations today, but for those that occupy the critical infrastructure and providers of essential services, this task is particularly daunting. These organisations play a vital role in sustaining the world’s and nation’s infrastructure – power, water, transportation, communications – and therefore cannot afford the disruption that may be caused by falling victim to cyber attack. However, they are also particularly vulnerable because they frequently hold valuable data on targeted systems or engage in resource-intensive development processes or engineering.

As such organisations operate on often complex networks of infrastructure components and software applications that grow ever more interconnected over time (e.g., through IoT), it becomes increasingly difficult to maintain control over the online environment without sacrificing ease of use for their customers or operational efficiency for their business operations. Furthermore, such an environment requires systematic assurance so an organisation can focus on safeguarding its main IT/OT systems while keeping an eye on other components within its network.

That is why many critical infrastructure operators and other large-scale organisations invest in purpose-built cybersecurity services such as Ping Identity – a unified platform designed specifically to protect digital identities at all points throughout the user experience lifecycle, enabling secure access control across any system resource. With an automated approach built around identity standards like OpenID Connect (OIDC) and OAuth 2.0, Ping Identity makes it much easier for companies to ensure secure access without relying heavily on IT/IS resources or sacrificing usability/performance for their customers or users. Through robust tools like advanced authentication techniques (e.g., biometrics), single sign-on support, multi-factor authentication logic, granular authorization technologies, and more, Ping Identity helps keep data protected from end to end without sacrificing user convenience or corporate agility at any stage of the process.

Benefits

With the increasing digital transformation of critical infrastructure across healthcare, government, global manufacturing and utilities, organisations recognize the value of strong cybersecurity solutions to maintain patient safety, consumer trust and operational efficiencies. Cybersecurity solutions provided by Ping Identity help protect customer data from malicious attacks or accidents while complying with industry regulations.

Here are some of the key benefits of partnering with a trusted cybersecurity services provider:

-Simplified Security: Streamline security practices to reduce complexity while reinforcing identity protection best practices across your organisation.

-Advanced Solutions: Leverage advanced capabilities to gain visibility into user activities and identify anomalies that may indicate an attempted attack on your infrastructure.

-Increased Productivity: Ensure employees have secure access to their cloud applications for maximum efficiency by providing single sign-on (SSO) authentication protocols.

-Data Privacy Compliance: Gain compliance through enhanced authentication policies that allow users authorised access to safeguard valuable time, resources and data.

-Cost Savings & Predictability: Drive cost savings with a managed services model that helps improve utilisation resources while protecting your data privacy needs at predictable costs over time.

Challenges

Cybersecurity is becoming a top-of-mind issue for critical infrastructure providers facing a dynamic, ever-changing cyberthreat landscape. With the growing number of connected devices and systems – from power plants and water treatment facilities to oil and gas pipelines – comes an increasing risk of malicious attack.

These providers need cybersecurity services to protect sensitive data and prevent malicious attacks from disrupting critical services. There are several challenges in deploying reliable security solutions that scale to meet the needs of critical infrastructure:

-Identifying assets: Identifying all assets connected to an organisation’s network is a difficult first step in designing a cybersecurity solution. Many systems have software updates available but they are not always applied regularly. Without regular patching, systems may be vulnerable to attack or exploitation.

-Developing secure protocols: Security protocols must be developed with robust authentication processes that protect sensitive data while allowing users access to necessary resources. Protocols must also be updated with the latest technologies and threat models as malicious actors evolve their methods.

Exploring technologies: New technologies such as automation, artificial intelligence, cloud computing and virtualization offer opportunities for enhancing cybersecurity solutions but require appropriate exploration and integration into existing infrastructures.

Complying with regulations: Governments worldwide have enacted strict regulations protecting confidential information about organisations’ customers or other stakeholders. Organisations must ensure compliance with these regulations when developing strong cybersecurity solutions for their networks.

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