Carolyn Mathas, a freelance blogger and editor for EE Times, said in her most recent blog post "Open vs. Proprietary: Have We Caused Our Security Woes?" that we have opened the door to many cybersecurity issues by switching from stand-alone and closed industrial control systems to open systems.
Sure open systems have their benefits like greater interoperability, efficiency and cost-effectiveness, but this openness leaves control systems vulnerable to cyber attacks.
Mathas points to a recent report ("Advanced Cyber Attacks on Global Energy Facilities") done by Marsh Risk Management Research, where the findings suggest that cyber attacks are changing from attempts to gain personal or sensitive financial data to a more threatening level. You know the type where hackers just want to take over control and cause serious damage – can we just say cyber terrorism?
Do we really need to have open systems and risk the cybersecurity of our control systems and plants, or can we do something to ensure the safety of our industrial networks?