As we all know, CEOs, CIOs, CTOs, CSOs, and CISOs are the top decision-makers responsible for driving a company’s business. This “C-Suite”, as we call them, matches business objectives with IT endeavors. The C-Suite makes choices based on what they know and what they learn, trickling up from the technical ranks through middle management. More often than not, those that can influence the C-Suite have the biggest effect on the eventual course taken. This is particularly true when it comes to IT security. These influencers need to present technical initiatives to the Chief Officers in the parlance of business objectives, always keeping the bottom line in mind.
So, the question at hand is, how do you convince the C-Suite that using Nozomi’s Guardian solutions is the right choice to make?
Companies that rely on ICS-controlled systems are often required to maintain separate staff, one for IT – with all of the standard complexities, and one for OT – with the specialized and proprietary requirements. However, there are many areas where the skill sets, responsibilities, and vulnerabilities between IT and OT crossover; one of those key areas is cybersecurity. From sensors to switches to servers, industrial networks are just as vulnerable to cyber-attacks as other environments are. With this in mind, C-suite members can utilize many of the same decision-making strategies used with traditional IT, but will need a specialized set of influencers and processes to assist with making an ICS solution selection. Nozomi knows this process very well and can help reveal any vital concerns.
Now, most if not all security solutions do sound alike, but one easy way the C-Suite can use to start a search for the perfect security solution is by answering the following important questions about Nozomi’s flagship product, Guardian:
- Could Guardian help meet business demands?
- Does Guardian lessen administrative overhead?
- Can Guardian reduce operational costs?
Manufacturing companies’ sizes range from SMBs to large multinational corporations, and each of these companies’ C-Suites needs the flexibility to choose the right-sized platform that helps meet their business demands. Nozomi provides several different Guardian appliance formats to suit specific business requirements. For smaller businesses, the NSG-R series serves 200 to 500 nodes, while NSG-L models can monitor 300 to 750 nodes. For extra-large environments of 2500 -10,000 nodes, Nozomi’s NSG-M series can cover an entire enterprise. And while these physical 1U Guardians might be a must in some environments, virtualized MS Hyper-V, KVM, VMware ESXi and XEN versions of the Nozomi appliances can scale out and cover 300 – 10,000 nodes in others.
As for lessening administrative overhead, Guardian was designed to help minimize the use of company resources, freeing up people-power to work on other IT tasks and projects. Guardian auto-discovers industrial assets such as PLCs and RTUs, as well as connections, protocols, and topologies, continuously monitoring them, reporting on threat vulnerabilities, and eventually building a foundation of data to protect the network via the following features:
- Real-time visualization presents a map of the network infrastructure, presenting and exposing key elements and activities, from nodes to connections.
- Up-to-date asset tracking builds a detailed inventory of connected devices, providing quick drill-down lists for convenient system summaries.
- Continuous monitoring of the industrial network through dashboards, charts, and queries helps improve awareness, giving IT the advantage of a fast response time when key thresholds are not met.
Lastly, Guardian helps cut operational costs, not just by preventing company-damaging cyberattacks, but by also including both ease of integration and deployment – with Nozomi Guardian, companies don’t have to replace existing security-related systems. Guardian integrates itself into the existing environment, communicating with asset management systems, firewalls, identity management systems, and other key elements, as well as having an Open API for added functionality.
When it comes to deployment, Nozomi’s “easy-to-deploy” process speeds up the installation by not necessitating any or very little network changes, consequently lowering risks to production, and resulting in increased productivity, collaboration and a favorable ROI.
Ultimately, the C-Suite can sit back and listen to any security vendor’s pitch touting their “best-in-class” security solution, however, this can be a repetitive exercise in futility as all products end up sounding the same. What is important is finding the differentiating advantages a product like Guardian provides and then making sure your company’s decision-makers use that information to make the right decision.