The world’s manufacturing, energy and transportation infrastructures are currently facing a serious security crisis. These critical systems are largely based on legacy SCADA and Industrial Control System (ICS) products and protocols. Many of these products are decades old and were never designed with security in mind.
Yet industry has also embraced new network technologies like Ethernet and TCP/IP, which have enabled instant access to data throughout the organization, including the plant floor. While this interlinking improves efficiency, it also significantly increases the exposure of these control systems to external forces such as worms, viruses and hackers.
Given the 20 year life cycle common for industrial systems, it will be many years before more secure ICS and SCADA devices and protocols are in widespread use. This leaves millions of legacy control systems open to attack from even the most inexperienced hacker. If a hacker or worm can get any control system access, it can exploit the protocol to disable or destroy most industrial controllers. The good news is that there is an effective and easy-to-deploy solution to this security crisis.
Using an advanced technology called “Deep Packet Inspection” (DPI), SCADA-aware firewalls can offer fine-grained control of control system traffic. This white paper explains what DPI is and how it compares to traditional IT firewalls. It then outlines how engineers can use DPI to block the malicious or inappropriate traffic, while avoiding needless reliability impacts on the control system. A case history illustrates how a seaway management company used Modbus DPI firewalls to secure a mission critical canal system.
2015 Energy Industry Cybersecurity Report
Strategic Cybersecurity: A Toolkit for Prioritizing, Coordinating, and Transforming Your Cybersecurity Program