Cybersecurity and SCADA Network: Things You Need To know

March 27, 2018

SCADA devices or Supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) is basically a system that makes use of computers, networked data communications and graphic user interfaces. This network contains applications that serve important functions commodities to Americans, commodities such as electricity, water treatment, natural gas, etc. The system has been designed for high-level process supervisory management. It makes use  of other peripheral devices such as the programmable logic controllers along with discrete PID controllers. Initially designed to serve functionality, currently these stand at a risk of cyber security threats. And we often find ourselves wondering if our SCADA devices would be able to perform as expected?

We also need to ensure that these devices get the optimum environment they need.

Cybersecurity and SCADA Network: Things You Need To know

Here are some essential steps one can take towards safeguarding SCADA Cyber security :

1.Analyse all connections to SCADA network

It is essential to keep a check and maintain all connections to the SCADA network. Identify potential risks and evaluate things like the internet connection, connections with vendors and other agencies, etc.

2.Remove unnecessary connections

SCADA network should be kept distinct from other unnecessary networks in order to maintain its security. The analysis should help you decide which connections are secure to be kept and which one’s should be done with.

3.Rework the security

Once you have analyzed, it is important to tighten up the security of the existing connections. In such a case, cyber penetration testing should be adhered to. This analysis will help you evaluate a protection plan and other appropriate security measures. Strategic placement of ID could help create an alert in case of potential security breaches.

4.Ditch the proprietary protocols

It is better to avoid setting up your SCADA Proprietary protocols as they provide obscure security, missing out on various aspects. Factory set or default protocols are not tailor-made for your SCADA security. When dealing with a vendor, ask them to disclose all vendor interfaces and backdoors. Ask them to give you systems that ensure complete security.

5. Implement vendor security features

There are many SCADA systems that have no security features. Owners of such systems should upgrade their systems by asking their vendors to provide their SCADA devices with all possible security features, be it basic security along with installation service of the same. If you are settling with factory default security settings, make sure that all these features are set on max level of security.

Conclusion

Cyber penetration security is useful in establishing a complete security blanket around your SCADA devices. If you are an owner of SCADA devices, going for a cyber penetration testing can help you analyze the loopholes in your SCADA security.