Technical Cyber security is essentially another name for cyber security. Both terms describe the practice of defending IT infrastructure, hardware and data from malicious attacks. Some also refer to this as ‘information technology security’. Today we’ll look at this plus also reveal the difference between Information Technology security (IT) and Operational Technology security (OT).
Since 2016, CRIBB Cyber Security has helped organisations large and small with their IT security needs. The size and scope of those needs differs in relation to numerous factors. One is the industry or sector a company is in, for example. We help a lot of healthcare companies, who need robust security in place due to the sensitive nature of the data they hold and then process.
One simple way to assess your cyber security requirements is this; do you use a computer? If you do then you will need some form of security in place. That might be anti-virus software or a strong password policy. The more devices in use, the more data held and processed, the more security measures are required.
SME’s and larger organisations typically also need to hold cyber security certifications such as Cyber Essentials. Whatever size your company is, CRIBB can help.
IT versus OT
People often ask us what the difference is between IT, Information Technology, and OT, Operational Technology. One way of looking at it is that IT systems manage data whilst OT devices control the physical world.
From a security perspective, IT security is crucial in every organisation, large or small. A robust IT security strategy will keep data secure and under control. When it comes to OT, equipment safety is key. For example, when you have a physical system that is required to maintain a stable value such as RPM, meticulous control is a must.
In cyber security, perhaps the most significant differences between IT and OT are that IT systems are connected. They lack autonomy and typically run on popular operating systems like iOS and Windows. OT systems on the other hand are autonomous, isolated, self-contained, and run on proprietary software.
It is crucial to be aware of IT security and OT security and their differences. To this end, there are many tools you can deploy to effectively keep both in check. Below we look at perhaps the most important of these invaluable cyber security tools.
IT Asset register: An important aspect in IT & OT security
Let’s first look at what an IT asset register is; it is a detailed list of all digital business assets. It includes information on each asset such as where it is located, what condition it is in and who the owner is. Asset registers essentially provide organisations with the status and history for each asset along with details relating to price, depreciation and current value.
To build and then maintain a comprehensive asset register takes a lot of hard work, much of which is admin-based. However, it can positively impact an organisation’s bottom line, with numerous businesses recording increases in revenue and cash flow of anywhere from 5 – 18%.
The benefits of an IT asset register
These are numerous and include:
- Gaining full transparency of all asset data
- Ensuring all assets are compliant with regulatory standards
- Creating an accurate audit trail
- Helping to track and identify all assets
- Preventing the loss or theft of assets due to having accurate location data
- Allowing you to accurately calculate depreciation and to estimate maintenance / repair costs
How to create an asset register
Here are some simple steps to follow:
- Ensure the purpose of the register is known to all involved in its creation and use
- Use your organisation’s balance sheet to identify your fixed IT assets
- Then conduct a physical check against the balance sheet
- Next, decide how your register will take shape – will it be a digital document?
- Now comes the detailed part – putting your information together! Typically, each asset should have a unique reference code assigned to it
- Each asset will then need an appropriate depreciation period
- It is crucial to carry our regular audits
Whether you know it as technical Cyber security or simply cyber security, its importance is growing rapidly. Digital transformation generates huge benefits for us all, of that there can be no doubt. However, it does also create vast opportunities for cyber-criminals. Therefore, it is vital that we have a degree of cyber awareness – as individuals and as organisations.
One of our on-going missions in 2022 is to help raise cyber awareness. CRIBB’s technical cyber security experts are already doing that as part of theICEway ecosystem. Together with the teams from ICE and eTestware, we help organisations around the world with their IT defences. This is something we have been doing since 2016 in the UK, from our Welwyn Garden City HQ. We’ll be doing it in greater degrees in the weeks and months ahead.
If you are located in Hertfordshire, we’d love to help you understand your own IT security levels. Contact us for a free cyber security assessment to find out where you stand.