Secure solutions for protecting Industrial Systems
Industrial services form the backbone of many aspects of modern life – from electricity and water services, to manufacturing and nuclear power plants, every single person on earth relies on these businesses to make it through the day. Each of these services use some form of Industrial Control System, which includes a number to different processes and associated instrumentation used in industrial production – and all these systems need to be looked after.
Failure to do so could result in massive damage and loss of power – one of the biggest examples of this was the cyberattack launched on an unnamed German steel mill reported in 2015, resulting in physical damage to one of its blast furnaces. According to a report from WIRED, “Failures accumulated in individual control components or entire systems.” This caused the plant to be “unable to shut down in a regulated manner”, which led to “massive damage of the system”.
This anonymous mill has become a cautionary tale among key industry players, who recognise the need for the deployment of a security solution that can help it avoid such attacks before it’s too late. We’ve rounded up four cybersecurity solution providers that are dedicated to making sure organisations are well-prepared for these issues before they become detrimental.
TripWire started out as a contributor of source code to the open source community, and has since endeavoured to bring clients advanced security solutions. Over 9,000 organizations use TripWire’s solutions, who claim that more than 50 percent of clients are Fortune 500 companies. Businesses using ICS can rest assured knowing that TripWire promises hassle-free, airtight protection that doesn’t require software installation – thus making the system more efficient and effective.
The system is also simple to master, and requires no cyber security expertise for ICS Operations teams thanks to its comprehensive and accurate risk assessments delivered to the relevant departments. These reports help security and IT teams keep track of the business’ systems and ward off any threats that might be coming their way. TripWire also adds to a company’s efficiency with automated security processes, which can be customised easily in both real-time or on a scheduled basis.
TripWire is particularly concerned about the risks posed by the Internet of Things (IoT) on industries. In a post on their blog, the company revealed that 70 percent of IT experts feel their organization is unprepared for IoT-related threats. TripWire ensures that clients feel secure at all times, allowing their business to run smoothly and effectively.
Waterfall Security’s patented Unidirectional Security Gateway solutions have been protecting industrial companies for the past decade, having been deployed in numerous utilities, nuclear plants, on- and off-shore platforms, refineries, and manufacturing plants around the world. The solution combines physical and digital components to offer clients maximum security and control over the information and data going in and out of their systems.
Waterfall Unidirectional Security Gateways replace firewalls in industrial network environments, preventing cyberattacks originating from external networks from entering control systems. A Unidirectional Gateway transmits information out of an operations network, but is incapable of propagating any virus, DOS attack, human error or any information at all back into the protected network. The Waterfall agent software gathers data in real time from operations servers inside the protected network. The software transmits that data to the external network, and populates replica servers with the data, enabling business and operational processes to continue as usual.
Customers report significant savings with Waterfall compared to using conventional firewalls, says the company. This is thanks to the reduction in costs related to software configurations, auditing, training, and real-time monitoring or logging. Waterfall’s technology has also been recommended by governments and regulatory bodies worldwide, making it easier for businesses to comply with industry standards while using this solution.
Find out more about Waterfall’s solutions here.
Symantec is also a cybersecurity solution provider that has a particular focus on IoT, with their solutions helping to protect factories, refineries and infrastructures. Symantec embeds security directly, in order to help achieve what they refer to as ‘cyber resilience’. According to a report by the company titled ‘Smarter Security For Manufacturing in the Industry 4.0 Era’, Symantec talked about how the manufacturing sector fell victim to 20 percent of all spear-phishing attacks in 2015, a 13 percent increase from the year before.
Their solution aims to help manufacturers detect and remediate attacks – some of which are big enough to be able to shut down entire branches and can cause huge amounts of damage. Symantec Unified Security Strategy offers an end-to-end view of a business’ processes to help block, detect, and take care of attacks, as well as to protect personal or sensitive information, and reduce risk. The solution stops attacks by securing both traditional and emerging endpoints, servers, and network gateways, creating an airtight environment to stop outside threats. It also offers integrated data and identity protection to add an extra layer of security for businesses and their clients.
CyberArk recognises that risks to ICS assets increase when a company has a high number of administrative or privileged accounts that enable user and app access to its systems, and that the use of shared accounts that allow outsider access to critical systems also invites danger to any business network. They offer a Privileged Account Security Solution that gives business security leaders full monitoring and control access to any account, meaning each individual is authorized and accounted for to minimise network risk.
The solution is integrated into a single platform for easy viewing, and can remove and securely store hard-coded credentials from industrial applications. CyberArk is adamant in its belief that constant monitoring of these accounts is crucial to an organization’s security and well-being. Doing so greatly reduces the window of opportunity for an attacker to cripple a system, but also greatly reduces damage by alerting the relevant people in real-time.
CyberArk’s high-profile customers include British telecommunications network BT, Pricewaterhouse Coopers, mobile phone maker Motorola, multinational professional services firm Deloitte, and American multinational semiconductor and telecommunications equipment producer Qualcomm.
*Some of the companies featured in this article are commercial partners of Tech Wire Asia