Is your plant vulnerable to cyber-attacks? – Easy steps to closing the door.

High profile cyber attacks on banks, charities, telecom companies etc have hit the headlines lately, but your plant is just as much at risk! Have you evaluated how secure your plant is?
Modern industrial control systems (ICS) have an unprecedented level of connectedness to each other and to the outside world. This brings numerous benefits now that connected sensors are cheaper and easier to develop and gives the opportunity for much greater level of plant data interrogation. Nowadays even the most basic control system is invariably connected to a computer. However, this very connectivity that brings such great benefits also opens up a hazard – attacks from unfriendly parties.
There are potentially serious consequences should vulnerabilities to ICS be exploited.
Although there are various ways to attack an ICS environment, the most common methods to achieve practical impact on operations fall into three categories: loss, denial and manipulation. Cyber-attacks on ICS can result in numerous impediments such as: denial of service, unauthorised control of the manufacturing process, loss of integrity, loss of confidentiality and loss of an organisation’s reputation. Organisations in the process industry must approach the problem of ICS attacks pragmatically; “It is not a matter of if it will happen, but when it will happen!”
The processing community must complete the necessary assessment, engineering and instrumentation tasks to plan for and deal with the potential for attacks on ICS environments on the best terms. ICS can no longer use security through obscurity as a suitable kind of defence against cyber-attacks.

In a bid to help industrialists better prepare for this possible infringement to their ICS network security, experts at the Wolfson Centre for Bulk Solids Handling Technology have devised a one day short course that examines this topic from design through to installation. It will inform attendees of best practice in industry such as strategies, activities, or approaches, which have been shown to be effective through research, evaluation and implementation.

Dr Adekunle
The Wolfson Centre for Bulk Solids Handling Technology
University of Greenwich

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