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How to Choose an OT Cybersecurity Solution Vendor

Hint: choose a leader in ICS security.

As cyberattacks in critical infrastructure, such as those on the Colonial Pipeline, make headlines, cybersecurity experts must address the risk that this esoteric environment poses to their company. Investors, board members, customers and employees rely on their cybersecurity managers to protect them.

One of the most important aspects of protection is deciding how to secure critical infrastructure and the Industrial Control Systems (ICS) and Operational Technology (OT) that underpin it. This year, for the first time, an independent analyst report from Forrester, The Forrester Wave™: Industrial Control Systems (ICS) Security Solutions, Q4 2021, has evaluated and scored ICS vendors and determined that Tenable.ot is a leader. 

Seeing the bigger picture

Tenable.ot scored five out of five in the “ICS protocol support” criterion in The Forrester Wave™

Today, businesses must consider the security of their OT environment hand-in-hand with existing capabilities that secure the information technology (IT), or corporate, environment. In most cases, OT systems are in continuous communication with the larger business environment that surrounds them, including the internet of things (IoT). With that in mind, it is essential to partner with a vendor that can address the entire attack surface and the multitude of attack vectors associated with converged environments. Tenable.ot can provide the robust solutions required to protect the entire enterprise.

A high percentage of the components on a typical OT network resemble an IT network: servers, workstations and network appliances are all very prevalent and must be considered as part of the overall OT environment. Tenable.ot includes Nessus to allow deep inspection of the security posture of these devices and common operating systems when it is safe to do so. Device protocols vary widely, so security and health checks must be unique to the make and model of the device, including the device language. These deep checks should be precise in query nature and frequency to ensure accurate inventory data down to the ladder logic level, while also ensuring security at the device level.

Tenable.ot has a multi-detection engine that can be fine-tuned to a unique environment and detect high-risk events and behaviors. 

Network-based detection should include the following capabilities:

  • Policies for “allow/disallow”, similar to a firewall.
  • Anomaly-based detection, similar to an intrusion detection system (IDS) that can find zero-day and targeted attacks using baseline behaviors unique to your organization.
  • Open-source attack databases that centralize threat intelligence from the greater security community. 

Know where you are vulnerable

Tenable.ot scored five out of five in the “Vulnerability and Risk Management for OT” criterion in The Forrester Wave™

Upon discovering all the devices in the environment, whether they are unique OT devices or general IT components, Tenable.ot evaluates the devices for known cybersecurity vulnerabilities. This allows the cybersecurity personnel to establish a plan to harden and improve the environment over time. Some claim you can’t patch in OT, but just because immediate action isn’t possible doesn’t mean that you should ignore your exposure. Instead, take steps toward mitigating the risk introduced by that vulnerability where you can. Acting like an ostrich and putting your head in the sand will not be sufficient when you’re being questioned about your due diligence.

Existing product capabilities are important when it comes to choosing a cybersecurity solution, but I believe that even more important is your vendor’s ability to keep up with the rapidly changing threat environment and to continuously deliver value. 

The Tenable Research and development team is constantly evaluating software and hardware products and solutions to understand where weaknesses may appear in the cybersecurity ecosystem. This not only includes evaluating OT devices for zero-day vulnerabilities, but also working with vendors through coordinated disclosure to continuously improve the security of vital systems. We quickly produce detection capabilities for newly disclosed vulnerabilities as well as keep abreast of the latest developments in the threat landscape.

Forward compatibility for the threats ahead

Tenable.ot scored five out of five within the strategy category in the criteria of “Innovation Roadmap”, “Planned Enhancements”, and “Execution Roadmap” in the Forrester Wave™

Our OT security product offers comprehensive capabilities and features that enable customers to properly secure their OT environments. We plan to continue improving our product offerings to provide even more value down the road. Through our research and continual feedback from customers, we map out our planned improvements to the product and execute against those plans to ensure that our products are continuously improving. 

If you choose Tenable.ot as part of your overall Tenable security solution, you will rest well knowing that you are taking care of the issues that matter most across your converged IT/OT ecosystem.

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