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ICS Security: 'The Enemy Is in the Wire'
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MarkSindone
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MarkSindone,
User Rank: Moderator
7/23/2018 | 10:03:21 PM
Re: Locking Down ICS & Embedded Solutions
Do we have a choice anymore now that attacks are getting even more common nowadays? As long as we are connected, we become vulnerable and are open targets to hackers. There is just so much that the government and we can do and at the end of the day, we are just considered unlucky to have fallen victim to them. There is really no way out if you were to ask me if we wish to prevent the attacks. We just have to accept them and come up with counter measures.
RetiredUser
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RetiredUser,
User Rank: Ninja
7/13/2018 | 6:52:39 PM
Locking Down ICS & Embedded Solutions
I worked for a time at one of the older process systems manufacturers in Southern California. It was a great learning experience where I got my hands in almost every stage of the development life cycle. As many know of me professionally I am a proponent of open software and hardware. However when it comes to the security of our water and power infrastructure I take a very different stance. While the processes leading up to developing sound ICS may well include open source software or even open hardware in early stages, I feel strongly that the final product must be closed - for both software and hardware - and the system itself be highly proprietary to encourage security.

Encrypting process control firmware and locking down critical steps in the process flow may become a necessity as crackers grow more bold and their tools more sophisticated. System hardening and patch management are key activities and should be audited often. While not all intrusions related to ICS are due to old systems with glaring vulnerabilities, regular reviews of firmware and embedded OS versions and patch levels, analyzing traffic to controllers and reviewing interfaces to field processes with computer-based systems, readout equipment and other instrumentation may help uncover malware or other suspicious activity early.

There are more white papers out there lately regarding this topic from the top manufacturers of ICS tech and hopefully they are being read and recommendations are being implemented. The stakes are too high not to do so.

 

 


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