Defending Industrial Control Systems Against Cyberthreats

Apr 22, 2014
2 minutes

The attack at Natanz by the Advanced Persistent Threat (APT), Stuxnet, was a game-changer in that it exposed the soft underbelly (read: weak security posture) of many industrial control systems (ICS).

To be sure, industry and individual organizations have made much progress since Stuxnet. There are more ICS-specific security standards and consortia, threat information sharing groups and CERTs, and new technologies available to specifically defend against these threats. But beyond the next wave of Stuxnets, Shamoons, Duqus and other yet to be discovered APTs, there are other internal and external factors asset owners need to be aware of when planning ICS security strategies.

For example, product specific vulnerabilities continue to be discovered and the industrial control protocols themselves can be used in malicious ways to compromise system availability and safety. Besides malware and exploits, the definition of a cyberthreat must also include the potential for unintentional misuse by an operator or other actor accessing the industrial control systems. User error could have just as much impact to system uptime and safety as malicious attacks.  Access control therefore is a key component of defending against cyberthreats.

Palo Alto Networks continues to raise awareness of these threats to ICS and how to defend and protect these systems. On April 29 at 1 p.m. EST, I’ll be hosting a new webinar, “Defending ICS Against Cyberthreats with Next Generation Security,” alongside Mike Assante, the Head of SCADA/ICS Security at the SANS Institute and a recognized control systems security expert.

Specifically we will be covering:

  • The nature of both existing and emerging cyberthreats to ICS and why asset owners need to pay attention to them
  • Strategies and frameworks for defending your ICS against known and unknown threats
  • Next-generation technologies that enable fine-grain visibility, role-based access control, and threat prevention for targeted attacks.

Hope you can join us! Click here to register now.

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