With the increase in targeted attacks by the hackers on Industrial Control Systems (ICS) and Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) systems, it is imperative that certain steps are taken to validate their security. Moreover, for the industrial automation industry, the past two years have been a shocker. For the first time ever, the industry became a target of sophisticated cyber attacks as in Night Dragon, DUQU, and Stuxnet.  

Furthermore, industrial control products have been exposed to a number of unprecedented security vulnerabilities and commitment to comply with the disconcerting and complex regulations as demanded by regulatory agencies. With the interconnection of isolated and vulnerable networks, securing critical infrastructure against computer attacks is becoming increasingly ponderous.

This blog covers the cyber security steps to validate the surveillance and validation of ICS/SCADA security:

Assess Existing Systems

Implement a risk assessment of the control system security to comprehend the perils and speculations it bears on your business. This gives the perception regarding the course to prioritize the exercises and the security dollars. Assessment of existing systems are typically scampered by the industries thereby running the risk of having extensive threats unaddressed. Assessing the existing systems is constructive for a business that could be discouraging but accompany it in practice with a light methodology.

Documentation of Policies and Procedures

ICS specific documents are recommended that construes the company procedures, standards and policies around control system security and should invoke back to corporate IT security documents. Facilitate your system security by establishing separate ICS specific documents that have clear standards and procedures. Be recognizable with applicable security regulations and standards as it caters to the navigation and supervision.

Trained Personnel

The cognizance to policies and procedures is pivotal for industries and further its observance. Introduce an awareness program, as it is fundamental to advancement and security standards. Investing in conducting a training program, contributes to the authorization of ICS/SCADA security.

Division of Control System Network

Network Segmentation is tactical and critical to advance the security of industrial automation system. Partitioning the system into distinct security zones and implementing the layer of protection is the procedure to leverage your control system network. Establish the indispensable assets in high-security zones for good measure.

Control Access to the System

Regulate the access to the assets within the partitioned security zones. Determine the arrangement of both logical and physical access controls. Logical control specifies the access to the resources, its categories, and practices to administer the process. Physical control access defines the locked doors and fences. The intent is to restrain the access to vital ICS assets to the individuals in need of performing them.

Harden the Components

Execute hardening the components of the system, that is eliminating the superfluous functions and shutting down varied segments. This is to close any vulnerabilities and to prevent any unauthorized access. Modern control systems that make use of extensive off the shelf technology needs component hardening for security strengthening.

Monitor and Maintenance

Vigilance through monitoring and maintaining the security throughout the business activity of the system is imperative. Installing security patches on Windows server, updating anti-virus signatures and observing the system for any suspicious activity offers the leverage to a properly functioning system.

The security of ICS/SCADA systems is an extended process that needs constant implementation and regular updation. Visit Applied Risk’s Industrial Security Services to find out the appropriate steps to secure your system from cyber threats.