How To Tackle Critical Infrastructure Security Complexities
By: Bruce G. kreeger
Three of the most recent major critical infrastructure attacks in 2021 have taken advantage of gaping security vulnerabilities in the nation’s crucial water, gas and food supplies.
In early February, a Florida water treatment plant in Oldsmar, a small city just west of Tampa, had its computer system breached. The result was levels of sodium hydroxide were raised to more than 1,000 times the acceptable levels. This chemical, the same ingredient used in drain clear, skyrocketed the toxicity of the city water could have potentially sickened thousands of residents if the attack had not been detected.
Then on May 10, the most significant attack against U.S. critical infrastructure occurred when Colonial Pipeline, the nation’s largest fuel pipeline, was forced to shut down operations when faced with a ransomware attack. For almost two weeks, gas stations up and down the U.S. East Coast and as far west as Texas were either out of gas entirely or rationing what they had. More than a month following the attack, gas prices remain high as a result.
And in June, JBS, the largest meat processer in the U.S., supplying up to a fifth of the nation’s meat supply, was forced to cease operations due to a cyberattack. JBS was just one of the latest major food and beverage companies that have been victimized over the last decade.
With the Global Critical Infrastructure Protection (CIP) market expected to grow from an estimated $92 billion in 2018 to more than $118 billion by 2028, security professionals realize the imminent threat this sector is under and have committed to tightening security in both cyber and physical security environments. The report states that most CIP programs initiated or revised in recent years focus on adopting a risk management approach. This focus has the CIP sector continuously engaged in identifying significant security assets, analyzing risks, and formulating strategies to prioritize mitigating risks best.
Perhaps the biggest challenge to protecting the nation’s critical infrastructure is the fact that the private sector owns more than 80%. This creates substantial friction when expensive security and risk mitigation programs are constrained by tight institutional economic realities and a lack of proper oversight.
How can the critical infrastructure sector ensure that it can protect itself and the nation from catastrophic physical and cyber chaos? A strong critical infrastructure security and resilience program must be based on collaboration and information sharing. Collaboration can be facilitated by establishing processes necessary for the government(s) and the private sector to communicate freely without releasing proprietary information or providing an unfair advantage. A trusted information-sharing environment will allow stakeholders to share crucial data that can strengthen security and resilience.
Advanced technology solutions can facilitate collaborative and resilient security programs when used in tandem within a strong risk and compliance framework. It is this approach that Intelligent Security Systems (ISS) employs to construct comprehensive digital video surveillance and control systems solutions that are cutting edge and tailored to each project. This is most important for critical infrastructure since it allows for solutions that are open, flexible and scalable and permits centralized command and control of an entire enterprise security network in a single place.
The integrated platform that typifies the ISS solutions includes video management (VMS), license plate recognition (ANPR/LPR), facial recognition, container number recognition, and Under Vehicle Surveillance (UVSS) that can all be deployed in tandem to form a security blanket around critical infrastructure sites. Video surveillance systems, using advanced analytics built on Intel Artificial Neural Network technology, can monitor both security and safety issues and alert staff when problems arise. At the industrial level, surveillance can also be used to monitor productivity. ISS can also integrate an array of security solutions from full Building Management Systems and life safety to access control.
We are proud to have been providing ISS (https://issivs.com/) and Mobotix Security and Surveillance Systems (https://www.mobotix.com/) to North America since 2006. As one of the longest serving mobotix Partners in North America and with clients worldwide offering this unparalleled video communications platform and ultimately earning the level of Gold Partner, Clarity Technologies Group, LLC surpasses expectations.
Call Clarity at 800-354-4160 today or email us at [email protected]. We are partnered internationally around the globe and we are open seven days a week 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM EST/EDT. http://184.108.40.206 and https://dotmantech.com.