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Most recent posts by "Industrial IT Team"

#1 ICS and SCADA Security Myth: Protection by Air Gap
Blog Category: Industrial Security

Posted by: Industrial IT Team on July 09, 2012

The existence of an “air gap” between control system networks and the rest of the world has been one of the most enduring fairy tales in the field of SCADA / ICS security. The idea is that in a properly designed system, there is a physical gap between the control network and the business network. Since digital information cannot cross such a gap, bad things like hackers and worms can never get into critical control systems. From this, a corollary flows:

“Companies that get worms in their systems obviously have not created the proper air gap and deserved to be infected.”

Now there are many materials supporting the idea of the air gap. Every week a new SCADA and ICS vulnerability notice comes out and every week end users get to read statements like this:

"In addition, it is important to ensure your automation network is protected from unauthorized access using the strategies suggested in this document or isolate the automation network from all other networks using an air gap.”


CSIA Event Shows High System Integrator Interest In Industrial Cyber Security
Blog Category: Industrial Security

Posted by: Industrial IT Team on May 03, 2012

Last week both Tofino Security and Belden participated in the Control Systems Integrators Conference in Scottsdale Arizona. The conference is organized by the Control Systems Integrators Association (CSIA) and this year the event boasted 500 System Integrator companies in attendance.

Systems Integrators (SIs) are Key to Automation Companies
You have likely worked with a SI to introduce new equipment or to integrate technologies in your facility. They are important enablers and many companies rely on their technical expertise, additional manpower and project management skills to achieve advances that cannot be realized with internal resources.

CSIA members are audited to make sure they are both skilled technicians and good business people, providing a huge short cut when evaluating firms for a particular project. The CSIA "Find an Integrator" application is a handy way to find a SI in your area, with the application and industry experience you need.


Here a Trade Show, There a Trade Show…
Blog Category: Industrial Ethernet

Posted by: Industrial IT Team on May 10, 2012

…Everywhere a trade show?

Our organization participates in a lot of trade shows. Events. Gatherings. I'm not the Belden employee that goes to these events to meet customers and to talk about our industry-leading solutions.


I'm going to my first Belden trade show in a couple weeks, ITS America. For those of you who are unfamiliar (like me three weeks ago), ITS America is the Intelligent Transportation Society of America, a non-profit "advocate for deployment of technologies that improve the safety, security and efficiently of the nation's surface transportation system."


Flame – The Latest Super Worm Discovered in the Middle East Energy Industry
Blog Category: Industrial Security

Posted by: Industrial IT Team on May 31, 2012

Last week I was in the Middle East, speaking at a very interesting security conference attended by management from the region's major energy companies. Today's blog was going to cover what I learned at this event, but that will have to wait. Instead, in an interesting coincidence, a new super worm called Flame (or sKyWIper), has been discovered targeting sites in the Middle East. So today I will explore what impacts (if any) this new worm will have on SCADA or ICS security.


Achieving Next Gen Connectivity with Industrial Ethernet – Revisited with Wireless
Blog Category: Industrial Ethernet

Posted by: Industrial IT Team on August 07, 2012

Last month, in Part 1 of this topic, we discussed how applying industrial Ethernet can truly transform your facility and provide unanticipated benefits.

Wireless technologies are thriving on the plant floor for a number of reasons, but two key criteria include improved safety and security and lower costs. Security concerns initially associated with wireless have been dispelled or at least diminished. Standards development for wireless systems has caught up with conventional Ethernet with the development and expansion of IEEE 802.11. The standard governs wireless LAN communications and has helped advance the security of Ethernet wireless systems, some say even beyond that of hard-wired systems. New products such as the BAT300-Rail series with three transmission/reception antennas are now better able to receive signals being sent over the industrial network.


SCADA Security Improves with ISASecure Certifications
Blog Category: Industrial Security

Posted by: Industrial IT Team on August 30, 2012

Editor's Note: This is an updated version of this article, which was first published the Tofino Security Blog on June 14, 2011.

Honeywell and the ISA Security Compliance Institute last week announced that two more Honeywell products, the Experion® C300 DCS controller and the Experion fieldbus interface module (FIM) joined the Honeywell Safety Manager in achieving its pioneering ISASecure Level 1 certification. Following this announcement Dale Peterson questioned the value of some aspects of ISASecure certification.

Here is why I believe, as I did in June 2011, that ISASecure certification is valuable.


Security Operations Center Shows Real-World SCADA Threats and Solutions
Blog Category: Industrial Security

Posted by: Industrial IT Team on September 21, 2012

Editor's Note: This article was contributed by David Alexander, head of vulnerability research at Regency IT Consulting.

To understand the problems faced by SCADA users, the team at Regency IT Consulting wanted to build a basic test rig. The goal with the rig was to help us understand the users’ challenges and to interact with the technology and protocols.

I've always worked on the basis of needing to be able to 'take things apart' and understand its internals before I look at how to protect them. Call it going back to the first principles of Information Security if you like, but to me it’s a simple common sense and a methodical approach.


New SCADA Security Standard needs Your Input NOW
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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