Predict Cyber-attacks via digital twins

November 30, 2021  |  Irfan Shakeel

This blog was written by an independent guest blogger.

Several of the digital twin technologies out there have grown fast in only a few years.

Picture establishing a virtual model of IT infrastructure where one can identify loopholes, create attack scenarios, and prevent catastrophic attacks before the system is officially put in place.

Using digital twins, it's no longer a silly idea for organizations to follow. Let's get knowledge of Digital Twin technology and how it can help to assess the loopholes in your security posture.

What’s a digital twin?

A digital twin is a replica of a physical item, operation, or service in electronic form.

This technology reproduces operations to gather information and anticipate outcomes.

We can use digital twins for several purposes, such as:

  • testing a design
  • determining and monitoring development cycles
  • assessing how an item or system would perform under various circumstances.

Cyber security and digital twins

The digital twin idea was first seen at the industrial level. Many businesses find digital twinning helpful for their assets, processes, and, lately, cyber security network.

As many businesses transfer their resources to the cloud and the Internet of Things (IoT) becomes more prevalent, threat actors are increasingly interested in exploiting unprotected devices, networks, etc.

Because cyber attackers are growing increasingly sophisticated, just guarding networks and responding to actual attacks is no longer enough, and companies must adopt better strategic and predictive methods.

Whereas only a few sectors have adopted digital twins to protect their virtual resources, many organizations raised their cyber security posture with more expediancy and efficiency to detect and counter future threats.

“For an efficient software update management system, a digital twin of the vehicle is almost a must.”

– Digital Twin for Maximum Cyber Security

According to Elsby, when industrial facilities and manufacturers incorporate the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) into their systems, cyber threats and security breaches via technologies become a threat. That is where twinning innovation comes into play to improve cyber security.

“Just as processes are simulated and data gathered to detect non-performance of assets, a simulated cyber-attack can also be detected by the digital twin.”

Digital twins can help assess Cyber threats

Data breaches are expensive, from addressing security flaws and recovering information to rebuilding reputation and suffering financial consequences, as businesses that have experienced them understand.

When infiltration assessments happen in the twin simulation of a network, the digital twin technology helps prevent breaches by allowing for better and efficient solutions by providing information ahead of production use.

Think of digital twin as in honeypot, where we create a replica of our infrastructure and make attackers believe that the system they are breaching is real.  We can assess cyber threats using digital twins to give our network architecture an extra layer of security.

  • With digital twins, you can identify infrastructure as it’s being developed, which will allow you to identify and minimize risk exposures. When any infrastructure modifications are needed, you can foresee and better control threats before installing the update.
  • Digital twin complies with international regulations, allowing organizations to inventory any resource on the system and determine quantitative risk exposures, perhaps prior to  system implementation.
  • Cyber-intelligent digital twins can construct attack graphs that forecast the intruder's most effective route. It may analyze step by step to predict how an attack will manifest itself if it happens.
  • Essential data links with the company's procedures can be used to estimate the effect of threats. In the case of a breach, this will aid in picturing the harm inflicted at both the functionality and impact to operations layers.
  • The data gathered in the previous two processes will help the organization decide what risks to tackle first. Prioritization of threats will aid in their effective management and steady reduction of threat intensity throughout all tiers.
  • Businesses can use digital twins to track and assess security weaknesses or calculate the gap between existing and desired security standards. It can help determine the company's specific security objectives and prioritize cyber threats based on their influence on daily activities.
  • The digital twin enables the monitoring, analysis, and testing of many use cases in a replicated scenario. It can leverage factual information to detect a risk prior to its manifests, avoiding any disruption or breach.
  • Digital twin technology uses pen testing and other methods to evaluate and verify information in a virtual environment. Consequently, security staff may make more informed decisions before an infiltration effort turns into a cyber-attack.

Final thoughts

Power, manufacturing, governance, environmental cities, and the IT and OT industries benefit from digital twins. The dedication of management to comprehend and implement the necessity for a digital twin is necessary for it to be effective.

Effective deployment and management of digital twins could save millions for organizations in the foreseeable future. A digital twin is a mitigation strategy that can be significantly more affordable than a cyber incident.

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