SCADA attacks are currently on the rise, thanks to the fact that more SCADA systems are connected to the internet than before.
However, protecting your SCADA systems are important because they control numerous important functions in infrastructure, including gas and oil pipelines, nuclear plants, airports, and utilities.
An attack on a SCADA system can therefore cause a huge disruption in services, many of which we depend on each and every day.
Complicating the fact that is that many SCADA systems were built years (as in decades) ago where cyber security was not a huge issue. But while this may make SCADA systems more vulnerable to attack, it also does not leave them completely defenseless either.
Here are the top ways you can improve SCADA security:
Steer Clear of Default Configurations
You would be wise to avoid default configurations on both security and network appliances. Any factory passwords will need to be changed out immediately, and you’ll need to come up with a system of longer and stronger passwords. Regularly updating your passwords would be a wise move as well.
Implement A Governance Framework
To be more specific, you should implement a governance framework that is industry standard. SCADA operators will have to provide rules and guidelines for setting up a security governance and performing a full risk assessment in order to mitigate the number of risks as possible.
An example of a good governance framework to use is the ISO/IEC 27001 management system. In fact, this is widely recognized as being the industry standard when it comes to information security management, regardless of the type of your business. This framework is also fully independent of technology and will work in both non-technical and technical environments.
Apply Portable Security
The next SCADA security measure that you should take is to apply portable device security. Air gapped systems are not connected to the network, meaning that the only realistic way of bringing files into and out of your SCADA system is through portable media, such as DVD’s or USB drives.
Therefore, it is very essential that you use a portable media system that will scan your portable devices for any potential threats before they are allowed to connect to your SCADA network.
Test Your Security System Regularly
Finally, you’re just going to need to perform regular security testing of your Remote Telemetry Units and your infrastructure control systems. This will allow other SCADA operators and utility companies to also adopt a continual improvement process, to ensure a proper security level for both today and for the future as well.
This approach should be risk based and done on a management basis rather than a technical one, but it will allow all SCADA operators to engage with any organization’s executives so they can secure all of the necessary resources for the development of other SCADA networks.
Improving SCADA Security
The security measures that we have covered will be some of the best ways that you can improve the security of SCADA and other critical infrastructure systems.