Siemens focuses on zero trust, legacy hardware, supply chain challenges to ensure cybersecurity of internal systems

Siemens has been working to stay on top of vulnerabilities found in its products, but more importantly, to ensure the security of its internal operations. The manufacturing giant, which works in several different lines of business, including industrial, smart, healthcare and financial services infrastructure, is protecting its systems by focusing on three main areas: zero trust, supply chain and legacy systems .

Siemens has grown exponentially through acquisitions in its 166 years and employs more than 300,000 people. Acquisitions mean system integrations and can often bring cybersecurity risks.

“We’re a company of companies,” Helen Negre, who recently took on the role of director of cybersecurity at Siemens US, tells CSO. That means it’s difficult to create a single enterprise-wide cybersecurity strategy, he explains.

helen black siemens small Helen Negre, Siemens

It’s not an easy time to be a cybersecurity officer, and Siemens is in the crosshairs of advanced attackers because it’s heavily involved in the critical infrastructure space. “If you put a name on critical infrastructure, we probably have something to do with it,” Negre tells CSO. “And with today’s political landscape and cyber landscape, we see activity … we have billions of events a day that we have to manage.”

What zero trust means for Siemens

Siemens is not alone when it comes to putting zero trust at the top of its cybersecurity agenda. According to Forrester, 83% of large global enterprises have committed to adopting zero trust. A 2022 survey by Okta found that 55% of organizations already have a zero trust initiative and 97% plan to have one in the next 12 to 18 months.

At Siemens, zero trust means micro-segmentation, perimeter security, strict identity management and strict policy enforcement.

Copyright © 2023 IDG Communications, Inc.

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Siemens, one of the world’s leading engineering and technology companies, is focusing on the implementation of a zero-trust security model, legacy hardware, and supply chain challenges in order to strengthen cybersecurity of its internal systems. In the face of increasingly sophisticated cyber threats, Siemens aims to better protect their valuable intellectual property, customer data, and other corporate information.

Central to Siemens’ model is the concept of zero trust security. Instead of relying on traditional firewalls and user authentication as the primary defense against cyber attacks, the company is focusing on granular control of user privileges and access to enable technology like virtualized networks and cloud infrastructure. Additionally, they have fortified and segmented networks, deterring intruders by limiting the scope of potential security risks.

However, many of the systems Siemens currently runs are based on legacy hardware, posing a continued challenge to the company’s security protocols. Old firmware and software aren’t always compatible with modern cybersecurity infrastructure and regularly require continual patches and updates.

Siemens is also increasingly aware of the need for stronger measures to protect its supply chain. Outsourcing components and services to third-party vendors can lead to vulnerabilities, so measures must be taken to ensure that all software is updated with the latest security measures.

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