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This briefing explores potential threats and vulnerabilities as well as what organizations can do to guard against them.
Industrial Control Systems (ICS) represent an increasingly diverse and extensively connected set of technologies. ICS control and automate significant portions of our connected society, including power moving through the electrical grid, oil flowing through pipelines, travelers commuting on rail systems, and systems controlling pharmaceutical and food manufacturing. Safety, availability, protection of the environment, and process uptime are the primary drivers of ICS cybersecurity investments. Unfortunately, bad actors recognize the operational, economic, and safety impacts attacks on ICS infrastructure can cause. More incidents involving ICS operators—organizations that use and maintain ICS as part of their operations—occurred in 2015 than any year prior.
Awareness of the risks associated with these systems is important, not just for the operational technology cybersecurity professionals responsible for securing these networks and devices but also for information technology professionals, organizational leaders, and regular employees.
The impacts of attacks on ICS can be devastating. Attacks can cause extended operational halts to production and physical damage, and even jeopardize the safety of employees and customers. The attack surface for ICS is larger than just the ICS devices, equipment, and networks: It extends to all parts of an organization, including the extended supply chain.
“More incidents involving ICS operators—organizations that use and maintain ICS as part of their operations—occurred in 2015 than any year prior.”