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Securing SCADA Networks in an Evolving Threat

Securing SCADA Networks in an Evolving Threat

Securing SCADA networks in an evolving threat. As cyberattacks become more frequent and complex, organizations with SCADA networks must periodically update their environment to stay safe as the threat continues to evolve and expand.

SCADA Cyber ​​Security Overview

Supervisory control and data acquisition networks play an important role in monitoring and managing physical assets, including critical infrastructure, in many industries. Technology plays an important role for energy suppliers, oil and gas companies, and water and wastewater management organizations. However, SCADA networks are also used in other industries that require real-time monitoring and control of physical assets.

Industries such as manufacturing, transportation and telecommunications, and even smart cities have come to rely heavily on SCADA networks. Which allows organizations to monitor and control critical infrastructure. Among other benefits, an effective SCADA network can help:

  • Improve operational efficiency
  • Improved process control
  • Increased security
  • Detect problem
  • Guaranteed optimal performance
  • Allows compliance with government regulations
  • Enables data-driven decision-making based on up-to-the-minute insights

While SCADA networks are often referred to as “old” infrastructure, these systems have evolved significantly in recent years. Also many systems today combine the Internet of Things (IoT) and computing technology. This enables greater connectivity, scalability, and remote access, which combine to improve the capabilities and flexibility of SCADA systems. However, the integration of these newer technologies can also create new complications and potential security risks.

SCADA networks

In fact, despite their significant advantages, SCADA networks have their own vulnerabilities that make them vulnerable to cyberattacks. Simply due to the interconnection of operating technology, SCADA networks present a completely different attack surface than traditional computer networks. In some cases, hackers have exploited intrusions into OT or IT systems to switch between them. SCADA networks not only incorporate a delicate combination of interconnected devices, sensors, and controllers, but they also often rely on older systems and protocols that may use underlying mechanisms. outdated security mechanisms or lack of strong encryption. .

In addition, SCADA networks often operate in critical environments where disturbances can have serious consequences. This makes them attractive targets for various threat actors – including malicious insiders, attackers, cybercriminals, and even state-sponsored organizations. – and makes the impact of a successful attack potentially catastrophic. To protect against these ever-evolving threats, organizations must take a proactive, layered approach to their SCADA cybersecurity.

Best Practices for SCADA System and Software Upgrades

The overall cybersecurity landscape has changed dramatically in recent years, as security professionals report an increase in both the number and complexity of threats their organizations face. This means that those launching attacks on SCADA networks are almost certainly using more advanced techniques and tools than what was available when setting up these networks. In particular, the emergence of advanced persistent threats and the growing prevalence of ransomware and industrial espionage pose significant risks to the SCADA network.

To protect against these ever-evolving threats, organizations must take a proactive, layered approach to their SCADA cybersecurity. This includes:

  • Regular risk assessment and vulnerability analysis
  • Powerful access control and user authentication mechanism
  • Secure Network Segment
  • Real-time network traffic monitoring

Additionally, organizations should prioritize the regular application of patches and updates to their SCADA systems, and conduct ongoing security awareness training for their employees. 

SCADA Security Solutions: How CDW Can Help You

Many organizations look to a trusted third-party partner to help them design and implement effective SCADA security strategies. CDW Solution Architects have decades of experience helping energy and utility companies, as well as organizations across all industries, design, deploy, and manage security solutions for TO infrastructure.

Risk assessment and vulnerability analysis

By working with a partner like CDW to perform security assessments of their SCADA systems, leaders can gain insight into their vulnerabilities, eliminate blind spots, and reveal vulnerabilities. new associations to improve their security status. A thorough assessment process typically includes physical security testing, networked application risk analysis, standards-based framework vulnerability analysis, and compliance assessment. It may also include an assessment of the working relationship between the IT and OT teams as well as routine processes such as patch management.

Vulnerability Management Plan

After evaluation and testing, CDW experts can help organizations develop comprehensive plans to remediate existing vulnerabilities and fortify their systems against attack. Traditional vulnerability management platforms that perform network scans can be really poorly suited for SCADA networks, where connected devices may respond poorly to pings or scans. In these cases, CDW will use a passive scanning system to detect which systems are talking to each other, what firmware version the different systems are running, and what code they are running without interference. into the operation of SCADA.

Design, Monitoring, and Recovery

CDW experts provide vendor-neutral guidance on tools and best practices, and they can also implement new solutions on behalf of the organization. These tools and practices may include:

  • App control
  • password manager
  • network access control
  • Next-Generation Firewall
  • Multi-factor authentication tool
  • Event management system and security information

Drawing on their extensive experience working with enterprises, CDW engineers can optimize advanced security features based on an organization’s specific needs. For organizations that lack the in-house staff to manage and monitor security solutions over time, CDW and its partners provide services to help manage their systems, stay alert, and maintain compliance while reducing the burden on their IT staff. These services may include application monitoring and vulnerability management. By continuously monitoring applications, businesses can minimize the amount of traffic running on their network, preventing the introduction of unwanted applications.

Even the most powerful systems are not enough to prevent security breaches. Governance is also essential to help reduce risks related to human error, insider threats, and social engineering attacks. CDWs can help organizations design policies to keep OT and IT networks secure, as well as incident response guides that can guide leaders to take critical steps in the event of a breach 카지노사이트