October was National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, and given the various threats that our national critical infrastructure has faced in the recent months, it’s become more apparent than ever that strong cybersecurity needs to be a priority for key industries. Thankfully, we have seen increased awareness as industries such as utilities, oil and gas, energy, and others step forward to address this issue; however, there is still much work to be done in terms of proper cybersecurity implementation.
Melanie Frye, CEO of the Western Electricity Coordinating Council, spoke on this issue at the North American Electric Reliability Corporation’s (NERC) annual Grid Security Conference on October 17th. Addressing industry experts across cybersecurity and utilities, she stressed the importance of building a culture of security throughout an organization. She specifically praised how utilities are moving from a culture focused on compliance to one focused on sound security practices that beget compliance to NERC’s Critical Infrastructure Protection (CIP) requirements. Stronger cybersecurity is also especially pertinent to the utilities industry in light of Russia’s hacks of hundreds of U.S electric utilities control rooms back in July.
Outside of the utilities industry, other major organizations have also faced critical hacks and breaches that have caused industries to reevaluate their cybersecurity standards. Both Tesla and British Airways suffered cyberattacks within the past six months, and Facebook was the most recent target of a major consumer breach that exposed the personal information of more than 50 million users.
Industry and government have both responded to these threats through increasing cybersecurity regulations. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), for example, passed the NERC-CIP regulation this past April to ensure access control and stringent protection against malware that targets critical energy and utilities infrastructure. The U.S government itself has also taken necessary steps to advance legislation intended to “identify and mitigate” threats to our industrial control systems.
Increased cybersecurity awareness is only the first step as we must move to protect our critical infrastructure and significant industrial networks from these ongoing threats. The technology required to secure these organizations already exists; and this is where Xage comes in. Implementing the proper security to protect industrial IoT networks, Xage’s Security Suite is designed to enable future innovation and automation within major industries.
Xage’s Security Suite is uniquely designed to protect these organizations through advanced blockchain-based security technology. By distributing authentication credentials and private data across a network of devices, Xage creates a tamper-proof “fabric” for communication, authentication, and trust that ensures a fail-safe layer of security. The release of our most recent extension, Xage Policy Manager, further prepares industries for the increasing cybersecurity regulations, autonomously enforcing security standards for distributed devices, applications, and users within industrial networks. As cybersecurity standards continue to evolve for the better, Xage provides the adaptive, scalable solutions needed to establish a long-term culture of security within some of our key industries.