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Defense in Depth Part 2: Layering Multiple Defenses
Blog Category: Industrial Security

Posted by: Industrial IT Team on March 21, 2012

In my earlier column on the philosophy of Defense in Depth, I discussed how relying on a single defensive solution exposes a system to a single point of failure. No matter how well designed or strong that single defense is, either resourceful adversaries or Murphy’s Law eventually results in the defense malfunctioning or being bypassed. When that happens, the entire system is wide open to attack.

A far more effective strategy for reliable security is called “Defense in Depth”. Today’s blog will discuss what this actually means in the real world of SCADA and ICS security.


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.


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.


Understanding SCADA Jargon
Blog Category: Industrial Security

Posted by: Industrial IT Team on September 06, 2012

Recently I saw a posting on LinkedIn asking “What’s the difference between a SCADA system and an ICS system, and if there is no difference, then why do we have two different names?”

This is a good question, because unless you have worked in the industrial automation field for a few decades, the terminology can seem very confusing. Not only do we have SCADA versus ICS, we also have terms like Process Control, Discrete Control, Industrial Automation, Manufacturing Automation Systems, Distributed Control Systems, Energy Management Systems and so on.

The Quick Answer
Now the quick answer is that Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) is a subset of Industrial Control Systems (ICS).

SCADA generally refers to control systems that span a large geographic area, such as a gas pipeline, power transmission system or water distribution system. I use both terms together because SCADA is often better known by the press, government officials and the public, but ICS is probably the technically correct term to use if you are referring to industrial automation of all types.


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.


SCADA Security Basics: Integrity Trumps Availability
Blog Category: Industrial Security

Posted by: Industrial IT Team on November 06, 2012

In last week's blog, Heather wrote an excellent summary of Mark Cooksley's network security presentation regarding "Why Industrial Networks are Different than IT Networks". In it she noted that the number one goal of ICS security is based on the concern for safety. This is spot-on in my opinion. However, there is more to consider when it comes to industrial security priorities…


Tags: ICS Security

SCADA Security in 2012: Eric Byres Evaluates his Predictions
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.”


“Rip and Replace” is Not How SCADA Security will Improve
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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