ICS (Industrial control system) is a computer-based system that manages and integrates a manufacturing or industrial plant and its processes. It is designed to be robust and defend against cyber attacks. The main goal of the ICS is to provide the desired output of the process with minimum downtime and prevent accidents. It manages operations at all levels: input, process, and output, so it can be controlled remotely and monitored easily from a single point using just one or more field devices such as controllers or sensors. If your organization wants to understand the real threat of cyber attacks, the assets at risk, and how to defend them, seek out Nettitude providing cyber incident response. This post will discuss some common cyber security threats and how ICS helps to protect against them.

Threat: Malware And Viruses

Malware is an unwanted malicious program that infects a computer with the intention of either stealing data or corrupting it. It is different from other programs that run as expected, such as anti-virus software, because it aims to harm the computer, whether by deleting files or installing something else without user consent. Malware can also be installed through removable storage devices such as USB drives and CDs since they are not scanned before being inserted into a computer. The ICS is designed to defend against such threats by blocking all data transfer on the port used by USB and CD-ROM.

Threat: Denial Of Service

A denial of service or DoS attack is a cyber-attack that prevents legitimate users from accessing our network services. The goal is to disrupt the victim's ability to function properly by blocking their access to a service or resource, usually one connected to the internet. To launch a DoS attack, the attacker uses special software or Internet botnet, which floods a particular resource with more requests than it can handle from legitimate users. The ICS protects denial of services by implementing security measures, such as firewalls, anti-spam systems, intrusion detection, and intrusion prevention systems.

Threat: Compromised Or Malicious Code

Compromised code can be defined as a set of instructions, which is designed to change the behaviour of the program and gain unauthorized access for the attacker. The end result is that if an attacker gains access to a compromised code, they can use it to steal information such as passwords and install more malware on the computer. A key step in this process is called "obfuscation," which seeks to hide malicious functionality from anti-malware tools so that they do not detect it.

ICS is designed to prevent unauthorized access of the device used in critical infrastructure. The ICS uses a combination of software or hardware-based mechanisms for incorporating security components into the system. These mechanisms attempt to prevent cyber attacks on systems by protecting them from malware, adware, spyware, and viruses.

Threat: Unauthorized Access To ICS

Man-in-the-middle attacks or "phishing" are possible when attackers use false information to insert themselves into trusted communication channels and then intercept sensitive information. This is often used by attackers to gain high-level access to critical infrastructure. The ICS is designed to use data encryption during its communication with the field devices, reducing the risk of manipulation and unauthorized access.

Threat: Vulnerability In ICS

It includes vulnerabilities like buffer overflows, session hijacking, and remote code execution attacks exploiting weaknesses such as using an unpatched server software which is known to have a high number of security holes. Vulnerabilities often come from the device vendors, e.g., microprocessors of the computer and the equipment manufacturers, e.g., IPS, VMS, and firewalls.

However, the most common vulnerabilities are flaws in the code, which gives attackers the ability to modify the data, giving it access to unauthorized information. The ICS is designed to avoid these security issues by using a firewall at remote access points and secure web servers on the internal network. It uses secure mechanisms for remote access and encryption of data transferred through networks.

ICS helps to prevent cyber attacks against critical infrastructure, which are managed with the help of computers. It is designed to be secure by using security services, e.g., encryption and intrusion prevention systems. The ICS also prevents unauthorized access to the network used for ICS control, thereby helping to protect it from cyber-attacks, making it a highly critical part of a cyber-attack defence strategy.