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ARIA Cybersecurity Webinar, Sights OT Cybersecurity Risks for Manufacturers

ARIA Cybersecurity Webinar, Sights OT Cybersecurity Risks for Manufacturers

ARIA Cybersecurity Solutions, a CSPi business, has highlighted the increasing OT cybersecurity risks faced by manufacturers. Its latest webinar, titled ‘How to Safeguard Your OT Environment,’ led by Gary Southwell, CEO of ARIA Cybersecurity, and Jim LaBonty, formerly Global Head of Automation Engineering at Pfizer Inc. The webinar delves into the shortcomings of current passive and active cloud-based cybersecurity measures. These inadequacies, they argue, have left manufacturing companies vulnerable to a new wave of AI-enabled cyberattacks, posing significant financial, regulatory, and reputational risks—especially prevalent in sectors such as pharmaceuticals.

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The webinar showcases ARIA Cybersecurity’s groundbreaking solution, AZT (ARIA ZERO TRUST) PROTECT, designed to fortify OT environments against such threats. Southwell and LaBonty demonstrate how this innovative technology could have thwarted recent high-profile attacks, including the SolarWinds breach, which exposed critical infrastructure weaknesses where traditional defenses faltered.

“ARIA’s AZT PROTECT deploys quickly, requires no rebooting, and supports the legacy operating systems common in the pharma industry. It automatically protects their production applications and operating systems without the need for security patches.”- Jim LaBonty

Key Insights from the Webinar

  1. Augmenting Cybersecurity Solutions in the OT Realm: Traditional cybersecurity solutions fall short in safeguarding operational technology (OT) environments. Passive measures lack the agility to counter zero-day and sophisticated attacks, while cloud-based Next-Generation Antivirus (NGAV) solutions, tailored for IT environments, prove inadequate in protecting complex OT systems. Consequently, OT infrastructure remains vulnerable to supply chain-based attacks, intrusions, and application-level exploits.
  2. The Unsustainability of Constant Patching: While patching serves as the primary defense against application-level exploits, its continuous implementation disrupts production and offers protection solely against known vulnerabilities. With patches available for less than half of the known Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVEs) at any given time and the inability to address unpublished vulnerabilities, OT production applications are left significantly exposed.
  3. The Significance of the SolarWinds Attack: The SolarWinds breach in 2020 underscored the vulnerability of existing IT/OT defenses against supply chain attacks. Subsequently, software-based supply chain attacks have increased, averaging around 700 incidents annually. This attack is a watershed moment, highlighting the urgency for robust OT cybersecurity measures.
  4. The emergence of “Dark AI” in Exploiting Vulnerabilities: Sophisticated threat actors leverage “Dark AI” to rapidly adapt and iterate indicators of compromise (IOCs) within cyberattacks. This approach renders attacks polymorphic, enabling them to evade detection by NGAV defenses. Such tactics pose a significant challenge to conventional cybersecurity measures.
  5. Preparing OT Cybersecurity Defenses for the Unknown: Recent findings by security researchers reveal novel process injection techniques targeting the Windows OS, which remain completely undetectable by leading cloud-based NGAV solutions. In contrast, AZT PROTECT, without necessitating updates, offers comprehensive protection against such threats right out of the box, emphasizing the need for proactive defense strategies in the face of evolving cyber threats.

“Our latest webinar explores the challenges of securing OT environments such as the production floors of  pharmaceuticals, which typically feature legacy OS equipment, limited computing capacity, and cannot be taken offline monthly. Existing solutions are proven to not fully protect these valuable OT assets from a new style of cyberattack, as well as being complex to deploy and update. AZT PROTECT is the perfect complement to these existing defenses; it is up and running within minutes, requires no staff training or expertise, and provides protection against all forms of cyberattack, both known and unknown.”- Gary Southwell

Recent Deployments of AZT PROTECT

Since its launch in July 2023, AZT PROTECT has rapidly gained traction across various industrial sectors reliant on operational technology for managing critical production infrastructure. A prominent Fortune-500 chemical manufacturer has implemented AZT PROTECT to safeguard its vital production applications, underscoring the solution’s efficacy in high-stakes environments. Additionally, a Western intelligence agency has chosen AZT PROTECT to fortify its crucial intelligence gathering and analysis operations against cyber threats.

Tailored Protection for OT Environment

AZT PROTECT distinguishes itself from leading Next-Generation Antivirus (NGAV) and Endpoint Detection Response (EDR) solutions by its specialized focus on OT environments. Designed to combat the most sophisticated zero-day and supply chain attacks, AZT PROTECT eliminates the reliance on daily cloud updates and continuous security patching. By leveraging a pioneering AI-driven approach, AZT PROTECT neutralizes potential threats in real-time, minimizing the risk of application vulnerability exploits. This revolutionary technique analyzes executable code, scripts, and processes, ensuring proactive defense measures without compromising operational efficiency.

FAQs

1. Why is OT cybersecurity particularly critical for manufacturers?

Operational Technology (OT) is integral to managing production infrastructure in manufacturing. With increasing digitization, OT systems are susceptible to cyber threats, posing significant financial, regulatory, and reputational risks.

2. How does ARIA Cybersecurity’s webinar address current cybersecurity challenges in OT environments?

The webinar discusses the inadequacies of existing cybersecurity solutions in combating sophisticated attacks on OT systems. It highlights the need for augmented defenses and introduces AZT PROTECT, a breakthrough solution tailored for OT environments.

3. What are the limitations of passive and active cloud-based cybersecurity solutions in OT environments?

Passive solutions lack agility against zero-day and sophisticated attacks, while cloud-based Next-Generation Antivirus (NGAV) solutions are proving insufficient. These shortcomings leave OT vulnerable to supply chain-based attacks, intrusions, and application-level exploits.

4. Why is constant patching ineffective in OT cybersecurity?

Patching disrupts production and offers limited protection against known vulnerabilities. As patches cover less than half of known vulnerabilities and cannot address unpublished exposures, OT production applications remain highly exposed.

5. How significant was the SolarWinds attack, and what does it signify for OT cybersecurity?

The SolarWinds attack exposed the inadequacy of existing IT/OT protections against supply chain attacks. This event marked a watershed moment, highlighting the urgent need for robust OT cybersecurity measures.

6. What role does “Dark AI” play in exploiting vulnerabilities in OT environments?

Sophisticated attackers leverage “Dark AI” to rapidly iterate indicators of compromise (IOCs) within cyberattacks, bypassing NGAV defenses and posing significant challenges to conventional cybersecurity measures.

7. How does AZT PROTECT differentiate itself from leading NGAV and EDR solutions?

AZT PROTECT is custom-built for OT environments, offering protection against advanced zero-day and supply chain attacks without daily cloud updates or constant security patching. It neutralizes attacks in real time using AI-driven techniques.

[To share your insights with us as part of editorial or sponsored content, please write to sghosh@martechseries.com]

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