Historically, Industrial Control Systems (ICS) could exist as a closed-loop, with an air-gapped network and a solid physical security program insulating them from the outside world. An operator could trust the integrity of their operations based on process outputs, and when processes broke down maintenance was brought in to locate and fix the issue.
DNP3 – Distributed Network Protocol 3.0 – is the second most-widely used serial communications protocol in Industrial Control Systems (ICS), after Modbus. As EPRI (Electric Power Research Institute) mentioned in a 2019 technical update: “it is the most widely used utility communications protocol in North America”
In the past decade, we have seen an alarming increase in attacks on critical energy infrastructure, with cyber incidents occurring across any number of geographies and industries. Common attacks can involve ransomware on a corporation’s Information Technology (IT) network that controls business operations, or a direct attack on a corporation’s Operational Technology (OT) systems that control industrial infrastructure.
If carried out as described, the actions proposed in the American Jobs Plan will help to bolster the cybersecurity posture of American critical infrastructure, however they do not go far enough to address the vast scale and scope of the problem we are facing.
As far as legacy Industrial Control Systems (ICS) are concerned, level 0/1 serial communications monitoring isn’t just about network security; it’s also about utilizing the data as a “first step” to digital transformation.
To anyone working in cybersecurity, it is not news that just about every critical infrastructure industry is significantly behind on their path toward cybersecurity maturity. There continues to be a fundamental friction between the estimation of cyber risk and the short-term thinking of today’s quarterly budgetary decisions.
There are several considerable roadblocks to safe and secure digital transformations efforts in manufacturing, or any industrial application where safety, security and reliability are paramount. At a high-level these areas include: Cybersecurity, Data Integration, and IT/OT interoperability and Integration.
In July 2020, the National Security Agency (NSA) and Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) issued a joint cybersecurity advisory recommending “Immediate Actions to Reduce Exposure Across all Operational Technologies and Control Systems.” The advisory emphasized “cyber actors have demonstrated their continued willingness to conduct malicious cyber activity against Critical Infrastructure (CI) by exploiting Internet-accessible […]
By Richard Robinson, CEO, Cynalytica I am not sure how many more wake up calls it will take before we all start to acknowledge that we are considerably behind in our protection of Industrial Control System environments for our Nations Critical Infrastructure. The recent compromise of Solarwinds and the Sunburst Hack should shake this fact […]
In industrial automation, Serial to Ethernet Converters/Gateways and Serial Device Servers are a long-established and widely used method for enabling remote communications and monitoring of devices that only support serial interfaces such as RS-232, RS-485, and RS-422 to name a few. The devices are typically used to convert serial to ethernet protocols (and vice versa) […]