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ICS Security: How Your IT Dept. Can Help
Blog Category: Industrial Security

Posted by: Brian Oulton on April 16, 2014

There’s no escaping the push to secure industrial applications. The end of support for Microsoft’s Windows XP operating system is just the latest situation that contributes to the need to make sure that industrial networks have cyber security measures in place.

The challenge is how to go about it. If you’re the person tasked with security—and if you're reading this, you probably are—the ambiguity surrounding security for industrial systems has probably struck you already.

One tool in the toolbox to help you improve the cyber resilience of your facility is to leverage the know-how of your company’s IT security experts. Before you start running for the hills at this suggestion, I hope you will read on and find out how this may actually help.


Windows XP End of Service – Triggering a “Domino Effect” of Industrial Network Upgrades, Part 2 of 2
Blog Category: Industrial Security

Posted by: Mike Miclot on May 14, 2014

On April 8, Microsoft retired support for the Windows XP operating system (OS) – leaving many susceptible to accidental and deliberate security issues. Though the retirement had been long planned and with fair warning, industrial network users are just beginning to comprehend the ramifications.

It’s not that Windows XP will no longer work – it’s that Microsoft won’t provide patches, security updates or infrastructure support, leaving industrial networks vulnerable to production disruptions and system downtime.

Even more concerning? Windows XP is the most popular OS for industrial users. It can be found in ruggedized PCs performing mission-critical tasks, as well as embedded in thousands of devices used in factory automation and process control operations.

Those responsible for protecting critical industrial processes and networks are left with few options. And a system upgrade isn’t as simple as it may seem – one upgrade can trigger a lengthy “domino effect.”


PLC Security: Protect Uptime from Windows XP Risk
Blog Category: Industrial Security

Posted by: Mike Miclot on May 28, 2014

If your job mandate includes maintaining uptime then network security is an area you can’t afford to ignore. In the industrial space the biggest risk comes from accidental network introductions, such as a virus introduced by a supplier or an employee via a USB drive. Once that happens, your manufacturing or process control operations could be in jeopardy.

In the two videos in this article I explain how cyber security risk is different in the industrial environment than in the IT or office environment. I then zero in on how risk has been increased with the end of service for Windows XP and I explain how industrial firewalls can help.


Attention Control System Integrators: Windows XP is a Big Opportunity
Blog Category: Industrial Security

Posted by: Frank Williams on June 11, 2014

System Integrators play an important role in helping manufacturers benefit from industrial automation technologies. They design and implement sophisticated control systems and their expertise, project management skills and manpower help companies achieve advances that cannot be realized with internal resources.

If your company is a System Integrator or Control System Integrator then you have likely been building up your expertise in the area of industrial cyber security as demand for services related to this topic has grown.

I’m writing today to let you know about how the end of service for Windows XP, and the industrial cyber security risk it creates, is a significant business opportunity for you. I also explain provide Belden resources to help you execute on this opportunity.


What the BYOD Controversy Can Teach Us about Good SCADA Security Policy
Blog Category: Industrial Security

Posted by: Industrial IT Team on June 25, 2014

Recently I spoke at the International NCSC One Conference 2014 at the World Forum in The Hague. I had 950 people (!) listen to my talk on “The Internet of Insecure Things “.

I also got to listen to some great talks, the highlight being the plenary speech by Jon Callas on the second day. It was called “Security and Usability in the age of Surveillance” and it focused on Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) security.

Jon’s talk looked at whether or not using your own iPhone to access your company’s email increases or decreases corporate security. It also raised some questions that are core to cyber security in the 21st century. In today’s article I am going to recap Jon’s key points and provide my own perspective on what the BYOD security question means to the SCADA world.


Time to Pay Attention to the NIST Guide to ICS Security
Blog Category: Industrial Security

Posted by: on July 09, 2014

Time to Pay Attention to the NIST Guide to ICS Security

About 6 months ago I wrote an article for this blog about the NIST Cybersecurity Framework. The article described how the framework came to be, what it is, what it is supposed to do and what you should do about it.

If you have any interest in industrial cyber security you will want to download the latest version of the framework and have it on hand for reference. If you are in a critical infrastructure industry your organization needs to go one step further and become familiar with its content.

In this article I am going to discuss the newly revised ICS Security Guideline – NIST 800-82 Rev. 2 – and offer some useful thoughts on it.


How Dragonfly Hackers and RAT Malware Threaten ICS Security
Blog Category: Industrial Security

Posted by: on September 15, 2014

The age of malware specifically targeting ICS systems began in 2010 when Stuxnet was revealed to be disrupting operations at one of Iran’s nuclear enrichment facilities. Since that shock we have seen advanced malware such as Flame and Duqu target energy companies for espionage purposes and unsophisticated but highly effective malware massively infiltrate Saudi Aramco.

Today I am writing to let you know about a new malware, coined as coming from the “Dragonfly hacking group” by Symantec. What does this have to do with everyday ICS and SCADA security? Let’s take a look at the Dragonfly malware in more detail and see what we can learn from it.


Windows XP End of Service – Industrial Firewalls are an Easy Fix
Blog Category: Industrial Security

Posted by: on September 10, 2014

The End of Service (EOS) for Windows XP means it is going to be harder to keep existing industrial networks cyber secure and available.
Fortunately there is an easy fix for mitigating Windows XP risk now. It is as simple as installing industrial firewalls to protect your control networks from malware, whether introduced accidentally or maliciously.

Now, many vendors’ claim that using their products is “easy”. Just like programming a VCR was never as easy as it was cracked up to be, you might be suspicious of our assertion that installing industrial firewalls is easy.

Today one of my colleagues shows you just how easy it is


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