Preparing for all types of attacks

There are intended and unintended hits, or attacks, on control systems and if you believe what one study says, 20% are intentional and 80% unintentional.

07/13/2011


ISS SourceThere are intended and unintended hits, or attacks, on control systems and if you believe what one study says, 20% are intentional and 80% unintentional.

“We always hear about the threat of attacks, but there are unintended treats can be just as bad,” said John Cusimano, director of security at exida during his Tuesday talk entitled “The seven things every automation professional should know about control system security” at the 2011 Siemens Automation Summit in Orlando, Fla. “We have to protect from both.”

One of the intended attacks was Stuxnet.

“Stuxnet was an intended attack,” Cusimano said. “There are people that think there will be more of these types of attacks in the future.”

That worm had an impact throughout the world, Cusimano said. “It provided proof of concept. We had been talking about this for decades. Until Stuxnet, however, we didn’t have anything to show. It has really raised awareness at the executive level. At the engineering level, we have known about it. We are starting to see this level of interest at the board level.”

While Stuxnet did raise awareness, Cusimano stayed true to his talk and talked about the seven things end users should be aware of to secure themselves:

  1. Assess existing systems. “You need an understanding of where you are and where you need to be,” he said.
  2. Document Policies and Procedures. “IT and engineering are different, but they have overlap,” he said. “You need to have a set of procedures, but there may need to have an appendix for automation.”
  3. Train Personnel and Contractors. “Make personnel are aware and trained. You need to provide role-based training,” Cusimano said.
  4. Segment the Network. “You need layers of protection or defense in depth,” he said. “We need to have just one layer of protection, but multiple layers of protection. If something gets by one layer then another can pick it up.”
  5. Control Access to the System. “You really need to control who or what has access to the system,” Cusimano said.
  6. Harden the System. You can remove or disable unused communication ports or remove unnecessary applications and services. In addition, Cusimano said, the user should apply patches when and where applicable and consider whitelisting.
  7. Monitor and Maintain. “Once we have a system in place, we can’t rest on our laurels,” he said. “Things change on a daily basis.”

- Edited by Amanda McLeman, Plant Engineering, www.plantengineering.com



No comments
Consulting-Specifying Engineer's Product of the Year (POY) contest is the premier award for new products in the HVAC, fire, electrical, and...
Consulting-Specifying Engineer magazine is dedicated to encouraging and recognizing the most talented young individuals...
The MEP Giants program lists the top mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and fire protection engineering firms in the United States.
High-performance buildings; Building envelope and integration; Electrical, HVAC system integration; Smoke control systems; Using BAS for M&V
Pressure piping systems: Designing with ASME; Lab ventilation; Lighting controls; Reduce energy use with VFDs
Smoke control: Designing for proper ventilation; Smart Grid Standard 201P; Commissioning HVAC systems; Boilers and boiler systems
Case Study Database

Case Study Database

Get more exposure for your case study by uploading it to the Consulting-Specifying Engineer case study database, where end-users can identify relevant solutions and explore what the experts are doing to effectively implement a variety of technology and productivity related projects.

These case studies provide examples of how knowledgeable solution providers have used technology, processes and people to create effective and successful implementations in real-world situations. Case studies can be completed by filling out a simple online form where you can outline the project title, abstract, and full story in 1500 words or less; upload photos, videos and a logo.

Click here to visit the Case Study Database and upload your case study.

Protecting standby generators for mission critical facilities; Selecting energy-efficient transformers; Integrating power monitoring systems; Mitigating harmonics in electrical systems
Commissioning electrical systems in mission critical facilities; Anticipating the Smart Grid; Mitigating arc flash hazards in medium-voltage switchgear; Comparing generator sizing software
Integrating BAS, electrical systems; Electrical system flexibility; Hospital electrical distribution; Electrical system grounding
As brand protection manager for Eaton’s Electrical Sector, Tom Grace oversees counterfeit awareness...
Amara Rozgus is chief editor and content manager of Consulting-Specifier Engineer magazine.
IEEE power industry experts bring their combined experience in the electrical power industry...
Michael Heinsdorf, P.E., LEED AP, CDT is an Engineering Specification Writer at ARCOM MasterSpec.