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Battling malware in the industrial supply chain

The increasing connectivity between Industrial Control Systems (ICS) and Operational Technology (OT) networks and other enterprise systems and cloud services has opened the door for targeted and supply chain attacks. Recent incidents like the SolarWinds breach have highlighted the vulnerabilities in supply chains and the potential for widespread impact. These attacks emphasize the need for organizations to address specific challenges and vulnerabilities, such as malware attacks on ICS/OT, third-party vulnerabilities, data integrity issues, access control challenges, compliance with best practices, and rising threats in manufacturing.

Traditional defenses are proving inadequate in protecting ICS/OT systems, and a multifaceted strategy is required. One technology that can play a crucial role in safeguarding these systems is Content Disarm and Reconstruction (CDR). CDR operates on the principle that all files could be malicious and works to sanitize and rebuild files, removing harmful elements and defending against known and unknown threats.

CDR acts as a content firewall, relaying files destined for OT systems to external sanitization engines, creating a malware-free environment. It can be implemented in the cloud or on-premises in the DMZ for high availability. Unlike traditional methods, CDR can neutralize both known and unknown malware, making it an essential layer in critical network security.

CDR has real-world applications that demonstrate its effectiveness in adapting and responding to various threat scenarios. It disrupts embedded malware through deconstruction and reconstruction processes, acts as a virtual content perimeter to block malicious code entry through email and file exchange, and delivers high prevention rates for various malware. CDR can be seamlessly integrated into secure email gateways, USB import stations, web-based secure managed file transfer systems, and firmware and software updates, providing comprehensive coverage and ensuring sanitized content at every step.

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has highlighted the importance of CDR in its guidelines. CDR plays a vital role in physical access control by scanning for malicious code before connecting portable devices to OT devices or networks. It also contributes to the defense-in-depth strategy, which is widely accepted and integrated into numerous standards and regulatory frameworks.

In the face of increasing cyber threats, CDR offers a fresh perspective on prevention rather than mere detection. It enhances security across different layers of the organization and mitigates the risks associated with supply chain attacks. With CDR as a vigilant sentinel, organizations can better protect their interconnected ICS/OT systems.

Key points:
1. The expanding landscape of the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) has increased the vulnerabilities in supply chains, making targeted and supply chain attacks easier to carry out and more impactful.
2. Malware attacks, third-party vulnerabilities, data integrity issues, access control challenges, compliance with best practices, and rising threats in manufacturing are specific challenges and vulnerabilities that organizations need to address.
3. Content Disarm and Reconstruction (CDR) is a cutting-edge technology that treats all files as potentially harmful, sanitizes and rebuilds files, removes harmful elements, and defends against known and unknown threats.
4. CDR acts as a content firewall, neutralizes both known and unknown malware, and can be seamlessly integrated into various network security modules.
5. The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) highlights the importance of CDR in its guidelines, specifically in physical access control and the defense-in-depth strategy.
6. CDR offers a fresh perspective on prevention, enhances security across different layers of the organization, and mitigates the risks associated with supply chain attacks.

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