Cyberattacks can bring everything to a halt or worse, learn ways to thwart hackers as our tech world sprawls

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It seems like everyday the news is packed with stories on the latest cyberattack. After waiting in a long line to buy limited gas for my car (the result of a cyberattack on a pipeline), I was going to grill a few steaks this weekend, but hackers attacked the world’s largest meat supplier. The attack halted operations in the United States where I live, so meat prices spiked and availability shrank. I may be rethinking those plans.

What I eat on any given day is not a big deal, but my medical records are important to me and if I had them in the Irish health system, which has also been hacked, I’d be concerned. While the target of these attacks changes – from an oil pipeline to a media giant to the New York City transit system – one thing remains the same: in this age of digital transformation, the hits keep on coming.

A change of menu or a wait for gas are minor inconveniences. Imagine a shutdown of the entire transportation industry, the entire electrical grid, or, even worse, contamination of the water supply.  All possible by cyberattacks.

An overview of best cybersecurity practices

To support todays digital lifestyle, IOT is proliferating and data center architecture is spreading with edge computing deployments, making cybersecurity much more challenging. Schneider Electric has released White Paper 12: An Overview of Cybersecurity Best Practices for Edge Computing to provide guidance on how to secure networks with edge computing installations and the associated exponential rise in endpoint devices. The overview of best practices is provided for each of these four elements:

  1. Device selection criteria
  2. Secure network design: Defense-in-Depth Network (DDN), network segmentation, intrusion detection system, Secure Access Service Edge (SASE)
  3. Device setup/configuration
  4. Operation and maintenance: patch management, vulnerability management, penetration testing

Digital transformation is everywhere and so is risk

When you add sensors to your operations, you are adding data and opening more windows for potential cyberattacks. My new blog looks at Staying Cybersafe When IT and OT Converge: Adding Compute and IoT at the Edge. And I recently enjoyed participating in the virtual discussion, Staying Cybersafe When IT and OT Converge: Adding Compute and IoT at the Edge with Daniel Paillet, author of WP #12.

You can access all of these materials for free. I hope they help you on the path to protecting your data center operations from cyberattack. So, please check out these resources. If you have questions, feel free to leave a comment below and I will reply.

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