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Zero Trust boosts security for utilities sector remote access

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TLDR:

Security infrastructure in the utilities sector must adopt a Zero Trust approach due to the increase in cyberattacks. Three main factors complicate utility cybersecurity, including reliance on operational technology networks, remote operations, and third-party vendor connections. Implementing a Zero Trust model helps create a secure remote work environment for utilities by providing comprehensive visibility, implementing least-privilege access control, and constantly verifying trust and inspecting security.

Article Summary:

Security infrastructure, specifically in the utilities sector, must adopt a Zero Trust approach as ongoing cyberattacks by remote actors become more prevalent. Cyberattacks on utilities have doubled from 2020 to 2022, highlighting the need for enhanced security measures. Security and IT leaders in the utilities sector should consider a Zero Trust approach to safeguard their networks, assets, and remote operations.

The utilities sector faces challenges due to relying heavily on operational technology (OT) networks with legacy devices not built for internet connection, the rise of remote operations granting access to employees and partners globally, and security vulnerabilities created by third-party vendor connections. Adopting a Zero Trust model can help utilities create a full inventory of connected devices, secure remote workers, and safeguard devices and sensors both inside and outside the plant.

Three main Zero Trust principles help utilities create a secure environment, including starting with comprehensive visibility, implementing least-privilege access control and segmentation, and constantly verifying trust and inspecting security. With a thorough Zero Trust framework, utilities can enhance secure remote work access, access and management, and continuous inspection, ultimately benefiting the organization’s bottom line.

As utilities manage an expanded network surface and more remote and hybrid employees, adopting a Zero Trust approach becomes crucial. The Zero Trust model helps utilities lower the time related to operating a distributed remote access environment while enhancing security. By trusting nothing and verifying everything, utilities can better protect their critical infrastructure and confront the growing threat of cyberattacks.


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