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Critical infrastructure is important for societal existence, growth, and development. Societies are reliant on the services provided by critical infrastructure sectors like telecommunication, energy, healthcare, transportation, and information technology. Safety and security are necessary for the optimal operation of these critical infrastructures. Critical infrastructure is made up of digital and non-digital assets. Organizations must stay ahead of cybersecurity threats to prevent failures caused by cyber attacks on critical infrastructure. Finding ways to protect digital assets in an ever-changing landscape filled with threats is a continuous activity. Organizations must also employ efficient security solutions and best practices to stay protected and reduce the chances of compromise.

Security solutions help secure and improve the visibility of an organization’s threat landscape. Different solutions use different concepts and approaches. An important concept that has risen recently is Extended Detection and Response (XDR).

XDR solutions provide detection and response capabilities across multiple layers. XDR tools correlate data using threat detection and response methods by gathering logs and events from various sources, such as network devices, servers, and applications. These capabilities make it possible for security teams to quickly detect, investigate and respond to incidents.

Attacks on critical infrastructure

In February 2022, a supply chain attack occurred in one of Germany’s energy giants. This attack led to the closure of more than 200 gas stations across Germany, affecting lives and businesses. This event occurred nearly a year after the Colonial Pipeline attack in the United States of America, where data exfiltration occurred and a ransomware infection shut down digital services within their infrastructure for days. An article from the NYTimes reported that an estimated 5 million dollars were paid to the hackers involved in the Colonial Pipeline ransomware attack. The hackers in the Colonial Pipeline case were able to gain entry using a compromised VPN password, and they proceeded to perform intrusion activities for an entire day before they were detected.

images from Hacker News