5) Security Architecture
To function securely, infrastructure devices that allow a control system to function must be isolated from outside negative influences, such as an engineer requesting a massive amount of data or a high-volume of traffic generated by a worm or virus.
To accomplish isolation, machines associated with the control systemís primary function must be grouped on a common network and protected from other networks. The control systemís perimeter must be clearly defined; all outside connections have to be documented, and the appropriate method of securing these connections must be identified and implemented. For Internet Protocol (IP) connections, this requires a firewall.
Firewalls are built to regulate connections between machines inside and outside it by allowing or restricting traffic to devices and applications. To help secure a control system, a firewall should be configured to reject all inbound or outbound connection requests. This forces connections to terminate in a DMZ (see below), which can implement database and application servers that can bridge two networks.
Systems that need to get data to and from the control system vary depending on the application. To remain secure, applications in the control system should push data needed by external applications out to them. Also, when the control system needs external data, applications in the secured environment should pull the data in.
This discussion will be limited to 802.11-type, WiFi implementations, and it will be assumed that users want to encrypt and secure these types of connections. While WEP offers very little protection and should not be used in a business environment, WPA is a good alternative for 802.11 installed bases that only have WEP as an option because itís available with only a firmware upgrade. However, even though good encryption device authentication is available, WPA is susceptible to denial-of-service attacks, which can be damaging in a control environment.
WPA2 (Ciscoís term for 802.11i) is the best option for companies just putting in WiFi technology. Device authentication is available, the AES encryption algorithm is used, and these devices reportedly arenít susceptible to denial-of-service attacks. For more information, visit www.wi-fiplanet.com/tutorials
.6) Adding Devices, Remote Access
To prevent introduction of malicious code from infected devices, allow only authorized devices to connect to the control systemís telecom environment, and communicate that policy to visitors, vendors and consultants upon arrival.
Likewise, remote access to this telecom environment should be severely restricted, and only allowed under controlled circumstances. There are three common ways to accomplish this while maintaining a secure environment: DMZ application servers, virtual private networks (VPNs), and modem access.
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DMZ application servers reside in the DMZ created between the corporate and control environments by the firewall. Remote users, either on the corporate network or outside via a dial-up or VPN connection, authenticate to this application server, and work from that environment.
Similarly, standard IPSec VPNs donít allow control via a remote device thatís connecting. However, solutions from Nortel and Cisco offer extensions to the VPN standard, which does allow this control. Control can include requiring updated anti-virus and personal firewalls on the remote device, requiring specific patch levels for operating systems, and prohibiting split tunneling, which is highly recommended. Split tunneling occurs when a remote device connects to the control systemís telecom environment, while simultaneously connected to another telecom network. 7) Vulnerability, Risk Assessments and Penetration Tests
Though theyíre complementary and often used interchangeably, vulnerability and risk assessments are different. Vulnerability assessments identify weaknesses that can be exploited to do harm, and usually propose alternative actions, or ďpotential mitigating controls,Ē which can be taken to reduce vulnerability or possible exploitation. Risk assessments identify the probability that a vulnerability can be exploited, allowing a cost-benefit trade-off.
Vulnerability assessments can be sub-categorized into technical reviews, device scans, and penetration tests. Technical reviews use staff interviews, technical document reviews and visual device inspections to identify weaknesses in the security architecture and/or the systemís policies and procedures. Device scans load scripts onto devices or use remote vulnerability scanners to identify devicesí technical vulnerabilities, such as improper configurations or missing patches. Penetration tests try to exploit a vulnerability to gain unauthorized access to systems, data or SCADA environment.
Risk assessments first determine whether a threat will likely try to exploit the vulnerability, and then determine its probability of success, which is reduced by each mitigating control implemented. These assessments also make impact estimates, sometimes financial. Resulting probability and possible impacts can be used to prioritize potential vulnerabilities.
Penetration tests are similar to invasive vulnerability assessments because they can unintentionally disrupt the SCADA environment, and so they should be performed by knowledgeable SCADA system users.
The passive vulnerability assessment is usually the first step, which allows the client to stop there, or choose any combination of the other assessments or tests. Figure 1 illustrates the methodology that KEMA uses for a passive vulnerability assessment, followed by a risk assessment. KEMA
is a Netherlands-based energy consulting, testing and certification firm.