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Manufacturing Cybersecurity: Are Your Industrial Control Systems REALLY Protected?

Manufacturing Cybersecurity: Are Your Industrial Control Systems REALLY

Manufacturing Cybersecurity: Are Your Industrial Control Systems REALLY Protected? Manufacturing is the second most commonly targeted industry by attackers and many attacks are successful due to the many vulnerabilities that exist in Industrial Control Systems (ICS.) ICS encompasses the devices, systems, networks, and controls used to operate and/or automate industrial processes. In many cases, the motivation for the attack is to steal valuable intellectual property, however, a great majority of cybersecurity problems are not caused by malicious attacks but are the result of a negligent or careless employee or contractor. Whether it is an outside or an inside threat, both represent harm to a plant’s operations. Manufacturers and utility providers are making cybersecurity a greater priority as these attacks can, and often do, result in defective products, production downtime and major safety hazards. What vulnerabilities exist in manufacturing plants? Employees/contractors: In 2015, 60% of all attacks were carried out by insiders; employees or anyone who has access to a company’s assets (i.e. contractors.) [1] Internetworking: New business models related to the Internet of Things (IoT) has made manufacturers more vulnerable as both the industrial and business networks are interconnected to the internet and no longer separated, expanding the attack surface. The automation layer: One of the easiest and successful ways to launch an attack in a manufacturing facility is to change an automation’s device program data. “While a predefined set of process parameters can be changed through HMI/SCADA applications, the logic maintained on the controller defines the process flow and its safety settings. Therefore, changing the controller logic is both the easiest and most successful way to cause such disruption.” [2] AUVESY-MDT • 3480 Preston Ridge Road, Alpharetta, GA 30005 • +1.678.297.1000

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