Preventing Cyber Attacks in Industrial Control Systems
Cyber-attacks occur daily around the world in the form of ransomware, malware, denial of service attacks, etc. While larger scale attacks make front page news, many more incidents occur daily that are not publicized. Whether it makes the mainstream news or not, a leak of a cybersecurity breach can at minimum tarnish a company’s public image and decrease shareholder confidence.
The Risk of a Manufacturing Cybersecurity Breach
As Operational Technology (OT) has evolved the risk of plant and manufacturing cyber security incidents has also increased. In fact, ransomware and malware do not show any sign of slowing down. Looking at the 2020 statistics for ransomware and malware attacks, companies across industries continue to pay the price. According to Cybersecurity Ventures, ransomware attacks cost businesses an estimated $20 billion in 2020.
With manufacturers needing real-time access to plant floor data to remain competitive in the marketplace, a cyber-attack in an industrial control system compromises manufacturing capacity in the form of unplanned downtime and potentially a physical threat. Valuable product and machines are at risk of being lost and even more important is the possible threat to the environment and human life.
Developing a Cybersecurity Framework
NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology) has developed a cybersecurity framework to promote the protection of critical infrastructure. While not all threats can be eliminated, risk can be reduced by following the principles outlined in the five pillars of the framework: