What is OT security certification? Learn how to protect industrial systems


Protecting industrial systems is crucial in today’s world. From power grids to manufacturing plants, critical infrastructure relies heavily on operational technology (OT) systems to operate effectively. Unfortunately, these systems are frequently targeted by hackers who seek to disrupt the flow of data or manipulate it for their own purposes.

I have seen first-hand the devastating effects that a cyber-attack can have on an industrial system. That’s why it’s important to take proactive steps to prevent such attacks from happening.

One of the best ways to do this is through OT security certification. By obtaining this certification, you can learn the skills and knowledge necessary to protect industrial systems from cyber-attacks. But what exactly is OT security certification, and how can it help you keep your industrial systems safe? In this article, we’ll explore this topic in greater detail and show you how you can get started with this essential training.

What is OT security certification?

OT security certification is a program that aims to equip professionals with the necessary skills and knowledge to secure operational technology (OT) infrastructures against cyber threats. The course is designed to focus on the application of Fortinet products, namely FortiGate, FortiNAC, FortiAnalyzer, and FortiSIEM, which are all integral components of a robust OT security solution. Here are some of the key takeaways that you can expect from this program:

  • Creation and deployment of Fortinet devices
  • You’ll learn how to create and deploy Fortinet devices that are best suited for protecting OT infrastructures.
  • Management of FortiGate, FortiNAC, FortiAnalyzer, and FortiSIEM
  • The course heavily focuses on the management of Fortinet products that are specifically tailored to OT security.
  • Tracking OT infrastructures
  • You’ll be equipped with the necessary skills to monitor and keep track of OT infrastructures using Fortinet products.
  • Building an OT security solution
  • This course will give you everything you need to build an OT security solution that is based on Fortinet products.
  • With this program under your belt, you will be better equipped to analyze potential OT security weaknesses, proactively prevent attacks, and swiftly respond to any incidents that may arise. The certification program is highly valuable for professionals in various industries, including healthcare, transportation, energy, and manufacturing, to name a few.

    ???? Pro Tips:

    1. Understand the Basics: Start by getting familiar with the fundamental concepts surrounding OT security certification, including various standards, guidelines, and regulations.

    2. Determine Your Goals: Determine why you are pursuing OT security certification, and what objectives you hope to achieve. This can help you choose the right certification program that aligns with your needs.

    3. Select the Right Certification Program: Research different OT security certification programs to identify the ones that best suit your career objectives and goals. Look for certification bodies with robust programs and industry recognition.

    4. Prepare Thoroughly: Once you have selected the certification program, it is essential to prepare thoroughly for the exam. This may involve reviewing study resources, taking practice tests, and seeking professional training.

    5. Stay up to Date: Continue to stay informed and up-to-date with emerging trends and developments in OT security by attending industry events, subscribing to newsletters, and joining relevant professional associations.

    NOTE: These tips are geared towards an individual interested in gaining an OT security certification, rather than a company seeking to certify their OT security practices.

    Understanding OT Security Certification

    OT or Operational Technology is a branch of technology responsible for managing and monitoring industrial control systems that control and monitor the operations in various industries such as power, oil and gas, manufacturing, transportation, and others. As OT systems have become increasingly interconnected, they have become vulnerable to cyber-attacks. OT systems are an essential part of critical infrastructure, and their security needs to be ensured. The OT Security Certification is an industry-standard certification that addresses the security challenges and potential risks faced by critical infrastructure through cybersecurity.

    The OT Security Certification program prepares cybersecurity professionals to protect industrial control systems by providing them with the necessary knowledge and skills to secure OT environments. The program provides various courses that cover topics such as designing, deploying, configuring, and securing the OT infrastructure. The certification program focuses on the use of best practices, policies, and procedures to protect OT systems from cyber threats and attacks.

    Importance of Fortinet products in OT security

    Fortinet is a leading provider of cybersecurity solutions globally. The Fortinet suite of products is designed to protect OT systems from cyber threats across various industries. Fortinet products such as FortiGate, FortiNAC, FortiAnalyzer, and FortiSIEM are among the most used products for OT security certification.

    The Fortinet solutions are designed with key features that enable the protection of industrial control systems. FortiGate is an advanced firewall that protects OT networks from unauthorized access, malware, and other cyber threats. FortiNAC provides network access control for devices on an OT network, limiting the risk of cyberattacks. FortiAnalyzer is a central management solution for monitoring, managing and analyzing network traffic, enabling cybersecurity professionals to detect, and respond to threats in real-time. FortiSIEM provides a threat intelligence and security information and event management (SIEM) solution that allows organizations to centrally collect, correlate and analyze security events. These products work together to create a comprehensive security solution for OT infrastructures.

    Creation and deployment of FortiGate devices

    FortiGate is firmware based network firewall developed by Fortinet. FortiGate devices are designed to provide enhanced security to industrial control systems. The FortiGate device offers several features for OT security including intrusion prevention, application control, web filtering, and VPN termination.

    The creation and deployment of FortiGate devices involve several components such as the network topology, firewall policies, and system configuration. Fortinet solutions are designed to enable easy deployment of firewall devices to any OT environment. The deployment process of FortiGate involves an initial assessment of the current network, identification of the critical systems, evaluation of the potential risks posed to the OT infrastructure, and creation of policies. These policies will enable the secure operation of the OT infrastructure.

    Management of OT security with FortiNAC

    The management of OT security is critical to ensuring the protection of OT infrastructure. FortiNAC offers a comprehensive network access control solution that is designed to control and manage the devices that require access to the OT network.

    The FortiNAC feature set includes network scanning, device profiling, device tracking, and threat detection. The device profiling feature of FortiNAC enables the identification of devices that attempt to connect to the network, ensuring that they meet the minimum requirements for access to the OT network. The FortiNAC threat detection feature enables the system to detect unauthorized access to the network, enabling the security team to respond promptly.

    Keeping track of OT infrastructures with FortiAnalyzer

    FortiAnalyzer is a central management solution for monitoring, managing, and analyzing network traffic. FortiAnalyzer enables cybersecurity professionals to detect, and respond to threats in real-time. FortiAnalyzer provides a complete picture of the OT infrastructure, enabling security professionals to track device activities, monitor network traffic, and detect anomalies in the infrastructure.

    The FortiAnalyzer solution enables security professionals to analyze network events, device activities, and security threats in real-time. FortiAnalyzer has a centralized database which stores data and is used for auditing purposes.

    Implementing OT security with FortiSIEM

    FortiSIEM is an advanced threat intelligence and security information, and event management (SIEM) solution that allows organizations to centrally collect, correlate, and analyze security events. The FortiSIEM solution provides real-time visibility into OT infrastructure.

    FortiSIEM integrates with other Fortinet products such as FortiAnalyzer, FortiNAC, and FortiGate. The solution offers features such as real-time event correlation, threat intelligence, and external threat feeds integration.

    Building a comprehensive OT security solution with Fortinet products

    Building a comprehensive OT security solution with Fortinet products involves the integration of multiple products to create a comprehensive security solution. The use of FortiGate, FortiNAC, FortiAnalyzer, and FortiSIEM enables cybersecurity professionals to protect OT environments. FortiGate provides network security, FortiNAC delivers network access control, FortiAnalyzer offers network event analysis, and FortiSIEM provides threat intelligence and security information management.

    Organizations that implement a comprehensive OT security solution enjoy reduced risks of cyberattacks and improved cybersecurity posture. The importance of OT security certification cannot be overstated. It equips cybersecurity professionals with the necessary knowledge and skills to secure OT environments. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), International Society of Automation (ISA), and Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) are some organizations that recognize and enforce OT security certification.