Six key aspects of Fully Governed Secure Remote Access

Remote access technology has emerged as a vital enabler of remote work and collaborative practices in the IT industry. It has revolutionized how organizations manage their distributed assets, promote flexible work arrangements, and enhance productivity. As remote work increases, remote access technology is anticipated to have an even more substantial impact on the future of work and IT management practices.

Remote access to nodes on an external network represents an expanded attack surface for organizations, introducing potential vulnerabilities that malicious actors can exploit. It is crucial to monitor and secure these access points using specialized tools such as intrusion detection systems (IDS), endpoint protection, and robust authentication mechanisms to maintain a solid cyber security posture.

Unlike traditional IT systems, which primarily deal with data and managed information, OT cyber security systems are focused on managing physical processes and controlling industrial operations.

What is Fully Governed Secure Remote Access

Fully Governed Secure Remote Access in OT Cybersecurity is a comprehensive approach to enabling remote access to operational technology systems while ensuring high security, governance, and compliance. It involves implementing robust policies, controls, and technologies to govern and protect remote access to critical infrastructure assets, mitigating the risks associated with unauthorized access, data breaches, and potential impacts on operational safety and reliability.

Key Considerations in Achieving Fully Governed Secure Remote Access in OT

1. Policy development

Establishing a governance framework that defines policies, procedures, and controls specific to remote access in OT environments. This framework should align with industry standards, regulatory requirements, and best practices in OT cybersecurity.

2. Authentication and Authorization

Implementing robust authentication mechanisms, such as multi-factor authentication (MFA), to verify the identity of remote users accessing OT systems. Authorization should grant users access to the minimal resources and functionality required, known as the principle of least privilege

3. Secure Remote Connectivity

By utilizing secure remote connectivity solutions, such as Virtual Private Networks (VPNs), secure shell (SSH) protocols, or encrypted remote access gateways, to establish secure and encrypted connections between remote users and OT systems. These solutions ensure the confidentiality and integrity of data transmitted over remote connections.

4. Network Segmentation:

Employing network segmentation techniques is a crucial strategy for enhancing security and resilience. This approach involves dividing the network into separate segments or zones to isolate OT systems from enterprise IT networks and other untrusted networks. Organizations can gain several benefits regarding security, operational control, and risk management by implementing network segmentation.

5. Intrusion Detection and Monitoring:

Deploying intrusion detection systems and security monitoring tools specifically designed for OT environments. These solutions enable real-time monitoring, anomaly detection, and timely response to security incidents in remote access sessions. Additionally, implementing robust endpoint security measures on remote devices is used for accessing OT systems. This includes regular patching and updating of software, deploying anti-malware solutions, and enforcing security configurations to mitigate the risk of compromised endpoints being used as an entry points for attacks.

6. Compliance and Audit

It ensures compliance with relevant industry standards and regulations governing OT systems. Regular audits and assessments should be conducted to evaluate the effectiveness of remote access controls, identify vulnerabilities, and address any non-compliance issues. Compliance also includes the capability of developing and practicing sound incident response practices that specifically address security incidents related to remote access in OT environments. This includes defining escalation procedures, establishing communication channels, and conducting regular drills to ensure effective incident response and recovery.


Achieving fully governed secure remote access in OT environments is multifaceted. By focusing on strong authentication, secure communication channels, access controls, monitoring, intrusion prevention, and ongoing assessments, organizations can establish a comprehensive remote access framework that mitigates risks and safeguards their critical infrastructure. Prioritizing these key aspects enables organizations to maintain operational continuity, protect sensitive data, and defend against evolving cyber threats in the OT landscape.

By adopting specialized security solutions, organizations can greatly bolster their defenses against the ever-evolving landscape of cyber threats in the OT landscape, safeguard their operations, and ensure the resilience of critical infrastructure. These specialized solutions offer a deep understanding of OT environments, enhanced visibility and monitoring capabilities, advanced access control mechanisms, anomaly detection techniques, and specialized incident response capabilities.