Monthly Archives: August 2017

Secure Industrial Networks [Cyber Security]

From |

Written by Amandeep Yashpal, Product Specialist – Cyber Security & Networks – UAE

Cyber security is a vital part of the process and infrastructure industry operations

Nowadays, Cyber security is a vital part of the process and infrastructure industry operations. Industrial cyber security refers to the protection of internal components and systems from internal and external malicious attacks to maintain the Availability, Integrity, and Confidentiality. It protects the industries against loss or damage.

Most of the network devices used in the industrial network are designed to meet functional requirement, safety, reliability and real time response. They were physically isolated from the outside networks. Most of the time only proprietary protocol and solutions are used for the industry network. At a later stage, TCP/IP protocol is introduced to industry networks which connect the industrial network to an external network. The introduction of TCP/IP to industrial networks, create new possibilities for better connectivity and also provide rich opportunities to adversaries to exploit the vulnerabilities.

The root cause of this intense new risk relates to the complexity of ICS legacy system that was never originally designed to stop cyber-attacks. Legacy water pump installed over the plant 15 years back, were obviously not designed to address modern cyber security attacks.  Complex legacy technology and high attack consequences lead to a high cyber security risk for most industrial networks. It could be any reason for such incidents to happen. Likewise

  • Lack of redundancy in the network.
  • No segmentation of network.
  • No security perimeter is defined.
  • Firewall is not incorporated in the network architecture.
  • No deep inspection of packets moving from field device to field device or control server.
  • Insecure remote connections.
  • Lack of compatibility of security architectural components with legacy protocols and system.
  • No mechanism to identify the changes in configuration of field device and files.

The biggest challenge in the ICS and SCADA security protection is that the infrastructure used in ICS & SCADA is having significant legacy technology. This includes older protocol and proprietary control components. Continue reading