How the SOCI Act Can Help You Achieve a Higher Level of Cyber Security Maturity for Your Industrial Operations


With cyber threats growing in scale and sophistication, industrial organizations must prioritize strengthening their security posture. But with constrained resources and complex operational environments, what’s the most effective path forward? This is where legislative support, specifically the Secure and Resilient Critical Infrastructure Act (SOCI Act), comes into play.  

Understanding the Significance of Cyber Security Maturity 

The industrial sector witnessed a 74% surge in cyberattacks during 2021, reports IBM. Yet only 42% of companies believe they have a mature security posture, reveals research by the Ponemon Institute. This gap underscores the need for rapid capability building.

Industrial organizations can systematically enhance cyber resilience by implementing controls aligned with internationally recognized standards. Steps like network segmentation, multi-factor authentication (MFA), security monitoring, and encryption significantly harden defenses and pave the path to maturity.


The Role of the Secure and Resilient Critical Infrastructure Act

Recognizing the escalating threats faced by industrial infrastructure, the SOCI Act allocates $10 billion towards enhancing cybersecurity over five years. Deloitte notes that by 2025, 70% of industrial organizations are projected to adopt security measures directly inspired or aligned with the Act. Specifically, the legislation focuses on:

  • Performing gap analyses to identify lacks in ICS cybersecurity preparedness
  • Providing monetary incentives for acquiring certified security solutions catered to ICS environments
  • Funding the development of customized cybersecurity frameworks for industrial subsectors
  • Enabling expedited procurement of vetted products and services through pre-negotiated federal contracts 
  • Promoting national-level ICS cybersecurity training and simulation exercises
  • Facilitating classified threat intelligence sharing between public agencies and critical infrastructure owners  

This multi-pronged approach addresses the increasing threats facing industrial control systems in critical infrastructure sectors such as energy, water, manufacturing, and transportation. Beyond driving technology investments, the Act fosters collaboration between public and private stakeholders.

Enhancing Cyber Resilience Through SOCI Act Measures 

The SOCI Act facilitates cyber resilience by:

  • Requiring cyber incident reporting by infrastructure owners to government agencies within 72 hours
  • Mandating annual independent assessments of ICS cybersecurity practices
  • Establishing playbooks with standard response procedures during high-severity events
  • Creating a public-private portal with threat indicators, security alerts, and mitigation measures
  • Enabling quick procurement of response and recovery services through pre-approved vendor lists
  • Requiring periodic failover tests for critical ICS components to validate continuity plans

Remediation involves managed detection and response (MDR), data backups, redundant infrastructure, business continuity planning, and role-based security training. With recovery workflows streamlined organization-wide, productivity loss following incidents is reduced significantly.


Promoting a Culture of Cybersecurity 

1. People Make Mistakes

Did you know that when something goes wrong online, like when our computers or accounts get hacked, it’s often because people make mistakes? It’s true, about 90% of the time! So, it’s super important that everyone who uses computers knows how to be safe.

2. Learning to Stay Safe

There’s something called the SOCI Act that helps teach people about being safe online. It’s like a set of rules that focuses on teaching about the risks (the things that can go wrong), safe practices (how to do things without making mistakes), and reporting protocols (what to do if you see something suspicious).

3. Why Training Matters

A magazine called Security Magazine found that when people get good training about staying safe online, there’s a 50% lower chance that something bad will happen. So, it’s like getting special lessons that help us avoid problems.

4. Helping People Learn

Some people switch jobs from regular computer work to more specialized roles. For them, having training that fits their new job is extra helpful. It’s like getting updated lessons that make sure they know everything they need for their new role.

Monitoring and Measuring Cyber Security Progress

Continuous monitoring and measurement are imperative components of an effective cybersecurity strategy. The dynamic nature of cyber threats requires organizations to stay vigilant and adapt their defenses in real-time.

Need for Continuous Monitoring

Cyber threats are not static; they evolve, adapt, and sometimes lurk undetected for extended periods. Continuous monitoring ensures that organizations can identify and respond to potential threats promptly. It involves real-time surveillance of networks, systems, and applications, allowing for the rapid detection of anomalies or suspicious activities.


Metrics and Indicators for Assessing Cybersecurity Maturity

1. Checking How Well We’re Doing

To see how good a company or a group is at keeping things safe on the internet, they use something called “metrics and indicators.” Think of them like scores in a game. These scores show how well the company is dealing with online dangers.

2. What the Scores Include

The scores or metrics can include things like:

  • How quickly we find and fix problems (like finding and stopping a computer virus).
  • How often do we check to make sure everything is still safe (like a regular checkup for computers)?
  • How much do the people working there know about staying safe online?

3. It’s Not Just About Computers

Assessing our ability to maintain online safety goes beyond the machines. It’s also about the people who use them and the ways we do things. It’s like making sure everyone knows the rules and follows them.

4. Why We Need to Keep Checking

We don’t just check these scores once and forget about them. We need to keep looking at them regularly, like updating a score in a game. This helps us make sure we are ready for any new problems that might come up online.

Regularly reviewing and updating these scores ensures that our approach to online safety continuously improves and remains prepared for new challenges. It’s like practicing to get better at a game and being ready for any surprises!

Final Thought

The SOCI Act empowers industrial operators to methodically lift cyber defenses by incorporating field-tested measures, driving technology adoption, and nurturing an informed workforce. Collective action is indispensable given the scale of threats. As organizations align their cybersecurity programs with the Act’s provisions, enhanced maturity delivers foolproof protection for industrial and societal continuity.


How does the SOCI Act tackle challenges in industrial cybersecurity?

By providing standards, guidelines, and monetary incentives for ICS modernization, security monitoring, resilience testing, and workforce training while also mandating assessments to prevent capability gaps.

How can industrial organizations improve their maturity?

Conduct risk analyses for prioritizing remediation, implement robust access controls and monitoring, adopt backup protocols, deliver context-based training, and leverage public-private information-sharing channels.

What are the potential benefits of cybersecurity maturity? 

Reduced business disruption and recovery costs following incidents, secured intellectual property, assured continuity of essential services, and fulfilled regulatory compliance.