Risk
12/27/2010
11:48 AM
George V. Hulme
George V. Hulme
Commentary
50%
50%

SCADA Security Heats Up

The use of Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) devices is growing. That growth is expected to continue to soar. According to research firm Frost & Sullivan SCADA revenues will grow from $4.6 billion last year to nearly $7 billion in 2016. Question is: What about security?

The use of Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) devices is growing. That growth is expected to continue to soar. According to research firm Frost & Sullivan SCADA revenues will grow from $4.6 billion last year to nearly $7 billion in 2016. Question is: What about security?A few years ago, when anyone would bring up the topic of SCADA system security, they were looked at like conspiracy theorists or UFO investigators.

That all changed when Stuxnet surfaced, which was designed, many analysts who studied the worm now contend, to disrupt the uranium enrichment capabilities of Iran through the modification of programmable logic controllers (PLCs).

That's not precisely a SCADA system, but it does show that industrial control systems can - and more importantly - will be targeted. And the processes SCADA systems help to manage include those used in manufacturing, power generation and distribution, refining, water systems, large communication systems - you get the idea: critical infrastructure stuff.

What is concerning is that for years, while people were aware of the security concerns, no one did much of anything about it.

Fortunately, security is getting some level of attention now. From Frost & Sullivan's research report, Strategic Analysis of the World SCADA Market, found that oil exploration, gas distribution, and other demands are driving SCADA growth. And security is part of the planned spend:

One of the key challenges that manufacturers face in the world SCADA market is ensuring enhanced cyber security. "A great majority of SCADA vendors have started to address the risks of cyber threats by developing lines of specialised industrial firewall and VPN solutions for TCP/IP-based SCADA networks," states Frost & Sullivan Research

Analyst Katarzyna Owczarczyk. "Additionally, more and more applications are being implemented to the control systems in order to prevent unauthorized application changes without impacting the performances of common antivirus scans."

That's a start. Now let's also ensure the applications and systems SCADA devices connect are built securely and with resiliency in mind.

For my security and technology observations throughout the day, find me on Twitter.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Cartoon
Current Issue
Flash Poll
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2015-4293
Published: 2015-07-30
The packet-reassembly implementation in Cisco IOS XE 3.13S and earlier allows remote attackers to cause a denial of service (CPU consumption or packet loss) via fragmented (1) IPv4 or (2) IPv6 packets that trigger ATTN-3-SYNC_TIMEOUT errors after reassembly failures, aka Bug ID CSCuo37957.

CVE-2014-7912
Published: 2015-07-29
The get_option function in dhcp.c in dhcpcd before 6.2.0, as used in dhcpcd 5.x in Android before 5.1 and other products, does not validate the relationship between length fields and the amount of data, which allows remote DHCP servers to execute arbitrary code or cause a denial of service (memory c...

CVE-2014-7913
Published: 2015-07-29
The print_option function in dhcp-common.c in dhcpcd through 6.9.1, as used in dhcp.c in dhcpcd 5.x in Android before 5.1 and other products, misinterprets the return value of the snprintf function, which allows remote DHCP servers to execute arbitrary code or cause a denial of service (memory corru...

CVE-2015-2977
Published: 2015-07-29
Webservice-DIC yoyaku_v41 allows remote attackers to create arbitrary files, and consequently execute arbitrary code, via unspecified vectors.

CVE-2015-2978
Published: 2015-07-29
Webservice-DIC yoyaku_v41 allows remote attackers to bypass authentication and complete a conference-room reservation via unspecified vectors, as demonstrated by an "unintentional reservation."

Dark Reading Radio
Archived Dark Reading Radio
What’s the future of the venerable firewall? We’ve invited two security industry leaders to make their case: Join us and bring your questions and opinions!