Industrial Control Systems Security
Industrial Control Systems (ICS) are a vital part of the operational technology (OT) in businesses across many industries in both the public and private sector. Commonly found across Oil and Gas, general manufacturing, energy distribution and all forms of critical infrastructure, ICS systems control and regulate industrial processes essential to daily life.
In the last decade, a rapidly changing OT landscape has created serious risks to the security of ICS systems which can only be resolved through assessment, planning and specialized expertise.
Risks to ICS and SCADA Devices
In recent years, the number of security incidents reported across industrial environments has increased at an alarming rate: over 50% of ICS systems have recently been involved in three or more security incidents. These include coordinated attacks by advanced persistent threats (APTs) and nation state actors who often target Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) devices; they also extend to widespread malware attacks which affect critical infrastructure like Triton and BlackEnergy.
According to the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), this rise in malicious activity can be attributed to multiple factors including:
- The so-called “IT/OT Convergence” which encompasses the rise of Internet-connected assets within industrial environments, exacerbated by the growth of the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT)
- The persistence of legacy systems and deprecated technology assets which are expensive to replace, and/or have not been insulated against modern threats
- The availability of search engines which scrape public-facing IP addresses from poorly protected ICS and devices, providing an entry point for malicious actors
- Increased availability of exploit frameworks that come pre-loaded with attack vectors and vulnerabilities affecting ICS devices
These vulnerabilities alongside many others are not only a major risk to businesses and their employees, but also to their customers and the general public. The ramifications of a successful OT attack may include:
- Data theft – exposing operationally significant data to intruders and leaking proprietary information like intellectual property.
- Operational disruption – leading infrastructure to function improperly or even shut down.
- Financial loss – with the rise of ICS ransomware, an OT attack can directly rob an organization. Beyond that, the cost to remediate any incident may be high, and extended periods of disruption can cause a loss in revenue.
- Loss of human life – irregular operations in an industrial environment present a serious threat to human operators easily leading to injury or death.
Today, any business operating an industrial facility must invest in risk assessment and security controls to protect their OT resources and remain competitive in the long term.
Protect Your Industrial Technology Assets
With years of expertise trusted by the U.S. security community – including DoD, DHS and the U.S. Cyber Command – Securicon is equipped to find and eliminate threats affecting ICS and SCADA devices. Our comprehensive OT security methodology includes:
- Vulnerability assessments and penetration tests
- Red-team and blue-team services
- Industrial Control System (ICS) assessments
- Network engineering and security architecture design
According to ICS expert Robert Lee, “there are less than 1,000 ICS cybersecurity professionals worldwide”. Some of them are employed by Securicon. Our specialized expertise bridges an essential gap between OT and cybersecurity, enabling us to improve the reliability of critical infrastructure and prepare industrial facilities for the future of cyberwarfare.
We help clients within the energy and power industries remain in compliance with essential standards, following the North American Electric Reliability Corporation Critical Infrastructure Protection Standards (NERC CIP).
While this task becomes increasingly difficult as the requirements get more demanding, our expert team is more than up to the challenge. We take a risk-based approach to security, not only striving to meet on-paper minimum standards, but also to ensure that your mission-critical assets are comprehensively protected against modern threats.
Is Your Operational Technology Exposed to Threats?
Learn more about Securicon’s expert solutions by giving us a call at (571) 253-6565 or fill out the form to schedule an appointment.