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As mentioned in a previous manufacturing security post, there are a few simple steps that can dramatically boost your cyber security. Yet, basic initiatives like teaching your employees online safety and implementing strong passwords will only get you so far. They might be enough to deter an opportunistic cybercriminal, but to thwart a determined hacker, you need to start monitoring your network. That means putting a priority upon budgeting for effective cyber security technology — and the people that monitor it.

Plan Ahead With Network Monitoring Technology. You need an Intrusion Detection System (IDS) and Intrusion Prevention System (IPS) to monitor your network. An IDS/IPS is a security tool that watches network traffic for suspicious activity. When it finds a potential hack attempt or other unauthorized traffic, it rejects it automatically and/or sends an alert, depending on how it is configured. In other words, it provides a layer of protection automatically, and alerts security that there might be a problem.

My personal favorite is the iSensor by Symmetry consulting partner Dell SecureWorks. It incorporates a:

  • Firewall
  • Intrusion prevention system,
  • System health and wellness monitor
  • Remote configuration and management system

Dell SecureWorks staff use remote configuration to keep the iSensor up to date. They can monitor your system, and automatically add rules to combat new threats as soon as they are discovered. That means you greatly lessen being a victim of a hacker exploiting a new vulnerability. SecureWorks Counter Threat Unit is constantly gathering intelligence to prevent incidents way ahead of the threat actors by informing the iSensor team so they can quickly push the counter measure to the iSensor. To give you an idea of the effectiveness of their teamwork; in just a couple of weeks Dell SecureWorks implemented 277 new Intrusion Prevention signatures, which blocked 7,036 attacks in Symmetry’s environment. Yes, we use iSensors in our own environment.
Dell SecureWorks is not the only game in town, and many other companies sell great IT security products. The important thing is to go with a name brand IDS/IPS that is well-managed and kept up to date by the vendor or creator. We can provide you with 24/7 monitoring of other devices you may own such as Firewalls, IDS/IPS, etc. Contact us for more information.
Get 24/7 Cyber Security Services. Even with cutting edge technology, you need actual human beings who know how to react to threats and breaches. The iSensor is supported by the SecureWorks 24/7/365 SOC who informs Symmetry’s Cyber Security team if your environment has a security incident. That will not help much, however, unless you have an incident response team ready to react.

If you have an incident in the middle of the night, it could be eight or more hours before your IT staff gets in and — if they’re not cyber security specialists — it could be another several hours until they can figure out what to do. By then, the hacker could have sabotaged your system, stolen massive amounts of data, or both. You need a team at the ready 24/7/365 to mitigate and neutralize the hacker early in the kill chain, before they can do real damage.
Strengthen Manufacturer Security with Smart, Affordable Incident Response. Monitoring IT security is like being a fireman; when there’s an emergency, you’re ready to go, but most of the time there isn’t much to do.

With Symmetry’s managed security services, your costs would be lower because of community dynamics. For example most homeowners could not budget to pay for their own fire department, and it would be a huge waste of money, especially when most never experience a fire. The community budgets for a fire department that serves them all because of shared costs and they get a professional response should they be unfortunate and experience a fire.

The fire department is also better because they gain expertise by regularly putting out fires, practice makes perfect so to speak. Most businesses cannot budget for 24/7/365 intelligence and Security operations. Even if they have a cyber security staff, they are not getting the regular experience of mitigating incidents. However together they are able to greatly lower their costs and get the benefit of preventing a breach and having quick reaction if an incident should befall them by using Symmetry with SecureWorks. That means you get 24/7 monitoring and a quick response time at a fraction of the cost of managing a large in-house team.

Additionally, with Symmetry, your manufacturing security is part of a complete managed services suite. That means 24-hour coverage for bugs, crashes, disaster recovery and other emergencies, along with security.

Scott Goolik - VP, Compliance and Security Services

Scott Goolik - VP, Compliance and Security Services

Scott Goolik is VP of Compliance and Security Services at Symmetry. A recognized expert in the field of SAP security and compliance, Scott has over 20 years of expertise in SAP security and is a regular presenter at SAP industry tradeshows and ASUG events. His experience includes working for one of the Big Four accounting firms and developing auditing tools, including those for segregation of duties (SOD). Scott is also responsible for architecting the ControlPanelGRC® solution which provides audit automation and acceleration of security and control processes.