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Most recent posts by "Erik Schweigert"

SCADA Security Basics: Why are PLCs so Insecure?
Blog Category: Industrial Security

Posted by: Erik Schweigert on March 09, 2016

As a software engineer who creates industrial security technologies I am often asked “Why are industrial networks so hard to secure?” This is a big topic, so today I will address only “Why are PLCs so insecure?”

The answer to this requires a walk down memory lane. If you are a controls engineer you already know some of what I have to say, though maybe not the security considerations this article addresses.

If you have another job function or work in another group such as IT, this article might provide you with useful baseline knowledge about industrial control system (ICS) security.

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Deep Packet Inspection for ICS Security: Signature-Based vs. Protocol-Specific
Blog Category: Industrial Security

Posted by: Erik Schweigert on March 23, 2016

Someone recently asked me the best way to describe Deep Packet Inspection (DPI) in layman’s terms.

Think of an envelope in snail mail. You can recognize it as an envelope and you can even see who it is from and where it is going.

This could be mapped to a standard firewall where you can limit the IP address by source and destination, and even port information, but that is as complex as it gets. In terms of this example, the content inside a sealed envelope, such as a friendly letter, is where the real information lies protected; this is where DPI really occurs.

DPI comes in two flavors, as a signature-based system or a protocol-specific DPI engine. How do they differ and which is more useful for ICS security?

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