Nymi is encouraging organizations to take a more forward-thinking approach to OT and IT security, arguing that those that revert to a more traditional approach will not be able to reap the benefits of modern technology. In that regard, Nymi noted that Operational Technology (OT) and Information Technology (IT) networks used to be kept in separate silos to ensure that IT threats would not compromise vulnerable OT infrastructure.
The past few years have demonstrated the wisdom of that strategy. There have been a number of high-profile incidents in which cybercriminals were able to shut down or threaten a key OT system through an IT connection, with the Colonial Pipeline hack standing as the most recent example. In that case, hackers were able to use ransomware to cut off the fuel supply for large portions of the Eastern United States.
Of course, the knee-jerk response to such attacks is to go back to the old way of doing things, insofar as hackers cannot access a system that is not connected to the internet. However, Nymi advises against such segregation. The flow of information within an organization is much more efficient with a fully connected system, and it is also more convenient for employees who can access important work materials remotely. Reverting to the past is increasingly untenable because it would undo many of those gains and slow the rate of technological innovation.
That means that enterprises need to find a new way forward, which is to say that they need to find a way to facilitate communication while still protecting essential systems. To that end, Nymi advocates for the use of credentials that cannot be copied, and that can ensure that the right individual is present for the interaction. It also stresses the importance of biometric detection systems that can spot possible incidents of coercion.
Nymi’s own passwordless authentication system can deliver on all three points. The latest Nymi Band supports heart rate and fingerprint recognition, and can be swiped at consoles and points of entry to enable strong digital and physical access control.
President Joe Biden has similarly emphasized the importance of cybersecurity in the wake of the Colonial Pipeline hack. The President has now issued an Executive Order that will make multi-factor authentication the new standard throughout the federal government.
May 27, 2021 – by Eric Weiss