Cyber Security

Report Spotlights ICS Cyber Security Vulnerabilities

By Chemical Processing Staff

Jan 19, 2018

Bedrock Automation, maker of the Open Secure Automation (OSA) platform, releases a white paper on the cyber security vulnerabilities and defense of industrial control systems. The 20-page document, Securing Industrial Control Systems - Best Practices, covers the threat landscape and presents a holistic approach to defending it, including assessing risk, physical security, network security, workstation and server security and the fundamentals of OSA.

“As we discuss cyber security with users of automation, we find that many are aware of the threat potential but are not sure if they are doing enough to protect themselves,” says Albert Rooyakkers, Bedrock founder and CEO.  “We saw the need for a technical paper that explains both the mindset and motives of an attacker, as well as the tools and technologies of defense.” 

The first half of the paper covers conventional cyber security practices that apply to all industrial control systems. It provides an assessment of the threats, including drive-by attacks, advanced persistent threats (APTs), espionage, process attacks and ransomware. It also looks at assessing the related risks, with an introduction to process hazards analysis (PHA) and hazards and operability (HAZOP) methodologies used to identify malfunctions that might harm people, the process or the environment. To assist with risk assessment, the paper provides an overview of conventional protection practices. This includes network segmentation, firewalls and DMZs; managing workstations, servers, end-users and applications; and implementing active defense measures, including security event monitoring and management.

The second part of the paper is devoted to more recent techniques, based on the application of intrinsic cyber security advances that have been applied in military, aerospace and ecommerce, and are now being used to protect industrial control systems. These create a hardware end-point root of trust that combines advanced cryptography, digital signing techniques, an industrial certificate authority and public key infrastructure (PKIs) built into the control system to create an infrastructure for user defense. The paper also presents the features of the Bedrock Open Secure Automation platform.

To download the paper, visit: