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Juniper Networks is applying its industry leading AI-driven capabilities and cloud-native architectures to Critical Infrastructure (CI) networks. We’re directly addressing the communications and cybersecurity challenges exposed by the convergence of IT and OT networks alongside the ever-increasing drumbeat of cyber threats from sophisticated, state-sponsored malicious actors. By enabling network architects, builders, and operators to fully support network users, Juniper is empowering network professionals to defend our nation’s electric grids, hospitals, water facilities, and other critical infrastructure. 

The challenge is substantial. Many CI environments have grown organically over decades, leaving the technical debt in the form of legacy communications and layers of undocumented point solutions that represent an unknown amount of cyberattack surface. But that’s not where the commonality ends. All CI networks: 

  • Serve a critical role in the safety and well-being of the American public.  
  • Find themselves on the spectrum of cybersecurity readiness that stretches from full implementation of NIST Cyber Security Frameworks (CSF) to a shoulder shrug of overwhelmed inaction.
  • Are targets of an unprecedented scale of cyberattacks from malicious actors whose effects know no national borders or physical boundaries.  
  • Haven’t adopted fundamental security protections and lack the skilled expertise and/or budget to implement cyber frameworks, leading to inconsistent implementation and significant gaps that can be exploited by sophisticated adversaries.

Where should organizations focus their investments to achieve the most impactful security outcomes? 

Juniper was recently asked to comment on a set of voluntary Cross-Sector Cybersecurity Performance Goals (CPGs) created and proposed by the Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA). A careful read of the 2022 CPG document suggests that it is not only a much-needed baselining of IT-OT cybersecurity hygiene, but also a broader reimagining of the value and urgency of comprehensive security controls that help reduce risk for critical environments. For government organizations and the private sector, these goals represent an achievable target for groups who have struggled to adopt the whole of the NIST CSF, while clearly stating it’s an intermediary step, not to be viewed as the end state. We at Juniper Networks applaud this plain-spoken approach and look forward to utilizing the feedback mechanisms, revision cycles, and full weight of Juniper’s Connected Security portfolios and partner ecosystem to help innovate in the protection of our critical infrastructure. 

Juniper supports the CPG objectives with the products, services, partnerships, and integration necessary to cost-effectively support the implementation of the goals for players of all sizes. To accomplish this, Juniper has taken a collaborative approach, partnering with Dragos and Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories to drive value added integration between industry leading solutions that help customers transition from heritage approaches to a secure service-based architecture that delivers on cloud-based flexibility without incurring any of the security risk.  

Effective approaches have been developed to support the OT sector while balancing the human, operational, and regulatory requirements. As with any challenge, finding a partner that can support you and your organization through proven approaches and technology that works is key. To see more about how Juniper can help solve your challenge, see our Converged Industrial Edge offering



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