Why Data Hygiene is Key to Industrial Cybersecurity

If there’s a common denominator to today’s security woes, it’s complexity. Industrial and enterprise IT environments are more open, interdependent, and essential than ever before. Practicing good data hygiene is one of the best ways for organizations to protect themselves, and it starts with a zero-trust approach to network access.

Complexity is a security risk

Part of what makes IT environments so complex today is the distributed nature of industrial and business operations, which decentralizes technology planning, causes “architecture sprawl”, and makes it hard to enforce security policies consistently. Those problems are compounded by growing technical debt as organizations defer upgrades or pursue them haphazardly instead of in a coordinated way.

Virtually every connectivity trend seems to contribute to the growth of complexity, from widespread IoT deployments and IT/OT integrations to hybrid work models that make security conformance challenging, and cloud deployments fraught with vulnerability-inducing compliance and misconfiguration issues.

All of these are amplified when businesses participate in highly interdependent supply chains. No single player has end-to-end control or the visibility to identify where dependencies and vulnerabilities reside. Amid this “vendor sprawl”, even participants with good internal security controls are at the mercy of the weakest link in the chain.

For IT and network security teams already overwhelmed by alert volumes and ever-evolving threats, dealing with so much complexity can seem like a bridge too far. They need to augment their efforts with automation to get some relief.

The catch is that automation tools

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