Fortifying the future of critical infrastructure

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Integration is the key to ensuring critical infrastructure security and resilience, reports MVP Tech – a Convergint Company.

There’s a good reason critical infrastructure (CI) is considered critical: It serves as the backbone of a country’s economy and society. Since CI is so vital to a nation and its interests, it must be safeguarded.

Without these safeguards, the risk of CI incapacitation or destruction is very high, which may have a major impact on the country’s economy, security and public health and safety.

A well-integrated and resilient security infrastructure is the most important safeguard for CI. And, to help create such an infrastructure, expert integrators like MVP Tech – Convergint ME play a vital role.

Critical infrastructure in MEA: The current security landscape

Critical infrastructure includes energy grids, transportation systems, clean water systems, emergency services, road networks and telecommunications systems – basically, everything that’s needed to maintain normalcy in the daily lives of a country’s citizens.

As recent history shows, attacks against CI systems have been on the rise. But, these attacks are not limited to a particular country or region.

The Middle East and Africa (MEA) region is vulnerable to attacks on CI systems.

In 2022, it was one of five regions with the highest percentage of malicious digital objects like malware and spyware blocked on industrial control systems (ICS) used in CI, such as oil and gas fields and power plants.

Even as far back as May 2012, a state-sponsored cyber-espionage group targeted the oil and gas sectors in ME, particularly in the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Qatar, using a variety of attack techniques.

The security landscape for CI in MEA – and elsewhere – is even more challenging because cyber-space is just one part of it.

In addition to cyber-threats, physical threats such a trespassing, burglaries, terrorism and vandalism are also a concern for governments and CI organisations.

Similarly, careless or malicious human actions that may result in fires, system shutdowns, shortages and chaos are also real threats that must be recognised, mitigated, and if possible, prevented.

The CI threat landscape is vast. It is also evolving.

To keep up with new, emerging threats, security systems that can evolve and adapt alongside the threats are absolutely vital.

The alternative – siloed, standalone tools – cannot work with other tools and provide incomplete security that’s inadequate for robust, long term CI protection.

And, to implement integrated, scalable and future-ready security systems, governments and CI operators will benefit by collaborating with tech providers.

The best providers like MVP Tech bring advanced engineering expertise, sectoral knowledge and proven experience with the complex integrated system deployments the CI sector needs.

Mitigating threats to CI with integration

Governments and enterprise leaders in MEA and other regions must recognise the threats to CI and implement measures to detect and avoid them.

To deal with cyber-threats, they must leverage tools like security information and event management (SIEM) systems to monitor CI systems, extended detection and response (XDR) platforms to respond to attacks quickly and vulnerability management (VM) systems to automatically detect and fix vulnerabilities in CI components.  

It’s equally important, if not more so, to also bolster the physical security of CI systems and networks.

Here’s where security management platforms, monitoring tools and incident response tools come in. Other physical measures like access control systems, scanners, motion sensors, intruder alarms, drones, car park management systems and surveillance devices are also vital to secure CI assets and prevent physical harm to them.

For effective, robust and continuous security, all these tools must “talk” to each other, rather than being functionally isolated from one another.

In other words, they must be part of a well-integrated and comprehensive CI security framework that enables security teams to view the entire CI environment, identify its vulnerabilities and develop effective strategies to prevent, detect and mitigate threats.

In addition to providing ongoing protection for CI systems, such a framework helps ensure uninterrupted CI operations and improves the environment’s resilience to new and emerging threats.

In the long term, well-planned and well-executed integration can help pave the way for a more connected and fortified future for CI everywhere.

A command and control physical security platform is an invaluable part of a comprehensive security framework for CI since it integrates and unifies all its various tools and simplifies management.

It also provides actionable, real time insights that enable security teams to react quickly to events and mitigate impacts.

Since 2003, MVP Tech – Convergint ME has successfully adopted the latest technologies to design and implement integrated security solutions for CI organisations throughout MEA and beyond.

Each solution perfectly matches client requirements and is geared to bring the maximum benefits of systems integration, including 24×7 monitoring, improved response, reduced risks, lower operational costs and increased flexibility for future expansion.

Integrated security solutions for CI

We at MVP Tech – Convergint ME are experts at designing and deploying robust security solutions for all kinds of CI environments.

Our systems can integrate many types of security tools, ensuring that they form a comprehensive security framework for strong, uncompromising CI defence.

Our customisable and scalable command and control platform for CI provides an at-an-glance view of all the systems and devices constituting the environment, so security teams can monitor all of them from a single place.

Its intuitive interface provides comprehensive coverage of the environment, making it easy to control connected security systems, verify alarm events, manage access and find vulnerabilities.

Built-in forensic capabilities cover a wide range of scenarios, arming security officers with real time information so they can assess any situation and determine what action is required to safeguard systems, devices and data.

The platform consolidates data from departments to provide operational intelligence that enables management and leadership to make more informed decisions about security investments and strategies.

Another benefit of integrating systems is that it provides a cost effective way to manage and secure CI environments.

It can improve planning and resource allocation, save resources in the long run and reduce the need for large capital investments when the time comes for expanding the security framework.

That said, system integration is a challenging endeavour in the CI sector.

One reason for this is the use of legacy systems, which are frequently incompatible with new systems and therefore integration resistant. Ongoing maintenance and updates is another common hurdle.

A security systems industry leader like MVP Tech – Convergint ME can help overcome these challenges.

Our large on-the-ground engineering and technology workforce has expertise to design and implement customised security, cyber-solutions, intelligence and communications systems for CI organisations.

These solutions enable them to respond effectively when under threat and also simplify security-related decision-making.

Furthermore, we take a collaborative approach, work with diverse stakeholders and also conduct detailed analyses of client requirements.

Creating resilient CI for the future

Critical infrastructure is vulnerable to a host of threats that are constantly evolving.

Moreover, threat actors are becoming smarter and are arming themselves with weapons that have become more sophisticated.

To safeguard assets from these threats and to create more resilient CI for the future, governments and CI entities must invest in integrated security systems.

A partner like MVP Tech can help CI organisations build integrated systems that can effectively keep risks out and ensure a well-functioning, secure CI for the country and its people.

We can also incorporate advanced technologies like AI, ML and blockchain into our systems to further enhance integration and provide robust CI coverage and defence.

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