Reap the benefits of IoT without Compromising SCADA security

Industry 4.0 is the term used to describe the fourth industrial revolution, which is the future of industrial production based on the “Internet of Things” (IoT).  As with all major transitions this leads to exciting opportunities, but also great challenges. The good news is that IoT is expected to offer advanced connectivity of devices, systems, and services that goes beyond machine-to-machine (M2M) communications. The interconnection of these embedded devices, is expected to usher in automation in nearly all fields, resulting in improved efficiency, accuracy and economic benefit in addition to reduced human intervention.  Yet, integrating IoT technologies within an organization means loosening access to the IT infrastructure, thus making it more susceptible to errors and vulnerable to attack. This is a scary proposition as intruders will not stop trying to find new ways of infiltrating business networks.

Attacks on Industrial Control Systems (ICS)

Especially troubling are attacks targeted at industrial control systems, as these present a threat to production facilities.  At a minimum, an infected computer can be controlled remotely resulting in company data being stolen or changed. However, in most cases the program logic control components are connected to the internet giving an attacker the ability to read applications and system data, install data packets designed to sabotage the production lines and related systems, or corrupt the entire corporate IT infrastructure. In the worst-case scenario, an infected machine could cause physical damage in its immediate location.

Security 4.0

To take advantage of any long-term benefits offered by Industry 4.0, manufacturing companies must establish an effective and efficient security management strategy and infrastructure for their “smart factories”. Traditional network security technologies such as firewalls, antivirus software and network monitoring software are designed to protect specific parts of the IT infrastructure. What is really needed for SCADA security is a straightforward and reliable way to detect anomalies, suspicious behavior, vulnerabilities and threats across the entire network.  The alert events against critical production data must be identified, captured and available for analysis all in an effort to reduce incident response time. The last two elements, the data capture and accessibility for analysis, are hardest to achieve, as many companies are not in a position to make such efforts over the long term in addition to their normal business operations. This is where the expertise and tools of a security specialist, like CSPi, are worth exploring.

CSPi, has a suite of security solutions ranging from consulting and advanced services to security products for data capture and recording.  We have recently joined forces with RadarServices, to help companies in evaluating their SCADA security risks and deliver optimized solutions for Security 4.0. RadarServices’ cutting-edge, in-house developed technology platform is the foundation to develop and configure a Security Operations Center (SOC) and used in combination with CSPi’s security offerings including expert analysts, documented processes and best practices such as SOC as a Service.  In partnership with our customers, CSPi delivers strong IT security benefits including strategy development, risk management, continuous network monitoring and comprehensive view of security-related information throughout the entire IT network infrastructure.

For more information on building a solution for cyber forensic analysis and compliance assurance for IT and security resources, check out our on-demand webinar, “Cyber Threat Visualization and Data Capture Solutions.”

 

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