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Blog Category: Industrial Security

Posted by: Industrial IT Team on February 28, 2013

Editor’s Note: This is an excerpt from ISSSource.

It wasn’t that long ago when cyber security seemed like a foreign language to those folks entrusted with running companies. It was not like they didn’t know about it, but it just was not top of mind.

Not anymore.

With cyber threats evolving to the point where they are affecting their companies and their customer’s companies, chief executives are taking a new look and approach to how they attack cyber security.

They know meeting objectives and delivering on business initiatives means they need to rely on information systems and the Internet. That means a cyberattack could cause severe disruption to a company’s business functions or operational supply chain, impact reputation, or compromise sensitive customer data and intellectual property.

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Blog Category: Industrial Security

Posted by: Industrial IT Team on February 18, 2013

Editor's Note: this is an excerpt from the Pike Research Blog.

The story goes that a group of business people were stranded on a desert island with a bountiful supply of canned and therefore imperishable food, but no way to open the cans. As the group struggled to find a solution the lone economist in the group piped up, “Assume a can opener…”

Sometimes it seems that’s how we approach industrial control systems (ICS) security. “Assume a secure perimeter…” It’s not fair to expect any single product or any single vendor to provide complete security for ICS networks, and yet we seem stuck in a world of point-solution purchases and security without any overriding architecture. It’s as if we’re saying, “If I can just get me some [insert technology of the week], then I’ll be secure.”

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Blog Category: Industrial Security

Posted by: Industrial IT Team on February 07, 2013

We all agree that SCADA and Industrial Control System security needs to improve. However there is a lot of disagreement on what exactly needs to happen to make security for industrial systems easier to deploy and more effective. Last week’s blog exchange between me and Dale Peterson, is just one example of those differences. Now this week I am going to go in a different direction when it comes to improving security.

Something I believe industry urgently needs is better standards for information exchange between security solutions.

It is great to have the latest security technologies like VPNs, anti-virus (AV), firewalls, IDS, etc. on your plant floor. Unfortunately getting them to interact with each other can be like pulling teeth.

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Tags: ICS, IF-MAP

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Blog Category: Industrial Security

Posted by: Industrial IT Team on January 30, 2013

As a reader of this blog you likely don’t need to be convinced that SCADA and ICS Security need to be greatly improved. There are several ways to go about accomplishing that, and I am glad that there is a healthy dialogue underway on this topic within the industrial security community. This includes the back and forth between myself and Dale Peterson of Digital Bond, that continues with this article.

When I attended Digital Bond’s S4 Conference earlier this month I heard Dale talking about “SCADA apologists”; however, I didn’t think he was referring to me. Then, in a blog article posted yesterday, he says “I’m disappointed that Eric went the SCADA apologist route”.

I am writing today to restate my position on what I believe needs to happen to improve SCADA and ICS security. I will also clarify where our own Tofino Security products fit in.

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Blog Category: Industrial Security

Posted by: on January 10, 2013

Google gave interviews over the holidays discussing the top searches done by people in various countries in 2012 (Google Zeitgeist 2012). “Zeitgeist” is “spirit of the age or spirit of the time” and it is interesting to see that for the U.S. the top search for the year was for Whitney Houston, while in Germany it was for EM12 (European football championships) and in Australia it was for Gangnam Style. In a quick review only Canada and Australia included most searched categories for beer, with Molson topping the list in Canada and XXXX (pronounced four X) topping the list in Australia.

I thought I would apply the zeitgeist idea to SCADA security topics, and using our own blog statistics (a limited view of the industry I admit, but the only one I have the data for), have determined the following list of hot topics for the year.

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Blog Category: Industrial Security

Posted by: Industrial IT Team on December 12, 2012

Editor's Note: This article was contributed by Laura Mattson, marketing specialist.

Early in 2012 Eric Byres wrote a blog article predicting what he thought would happen in 2012 with regards to SCADA and ICS security. I went back to his blog and highlighted the four main predictions he made. Then I asked him to rate himself on each one.

Prediction 1: No Big Messy Security Events
Laura: You predicted that “there will be no big messy security events in 2012 (No Stuxnet or Slammer)”. Do you feel your prediction was accurate?

Eric: “Unfortunately, I sure got this wrong! I didn’t expect that so many highly sophisticated advanced persistent threats like Flame, Gauss and Duqu would be found. And I certainly didn’t expect that some amateur hackers would develop Shamoon and wipe out 30,000+ computers at Saudi Aramco with it.”

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Blog Category: Industrial Security

Posted by: Industrial IT Team on December 06, 2012

Browsing this week’s industry newsletters, I noticed that Automation World had two related stories on new technologies:

Industry Interrupted: Tablets and Smart Phones Poised to Make a Big Impact

Industrial Networking Desires Revealed

Both articles indirectly point to an issue that industry needs to come to terms with quickly if we are ever going make our plant floors secure.

The BYOD Iceberg?
Let’s start with the Tablets and Smart Phones story. It is about the issue of mobile devices, especially personal mobile devices, showing up on the plant floor. Never going to happen you say? I wouldn’t be so sure.

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Blog Category: Industrial Security

Posted by: Industrial IT Team on November 30, 2012

Editor’s Note: The Practical SCADA Security Blog has a very special blog contributor this week – Mr. Santa Claus, owner and operator of a very large toy manufacturing facility at the North Pole. This is a very busy time of year for Mr. Claus, so we would like to extend a big thank-you to him for sharing his cyber security story with our readers. We would also like to thank him for having the courage to publicly share details of an SCADA/ICS security event that occurred at his facility.

Mr. Santa Claus’ Security Report
I don’t normally write blogs, and I especially don’t write security blogs – I am far too busy managing my toy manufacturing, packaging and shipping operation at the North Pole. But last year we had a serious security event in our workshop that really shook me, Mrs. Claus and the elves up. It also made me realize that anyone with a critical automation system needs to take security seriously. I decided to share our story so other people can learn from our mistakes.

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Tags: PLC Security

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