One of the industries major oil and gas trade shows, the Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) was held last month. Belden and Tofino Security had a very busy booth there, as both safety and security were hot topics with attendees. It is good to see that security is finally making the list of corporate priorities.
Now when engineers look at security, a topic they should know about is Deep Packet Inspection (DPI) and why offshore networks need to use it if they want to be secure.
Let me give you some context. You know that the critical systems managing production and safety on offshore platforms are largely based on legacy SCADA and Industrial Control System (ICS) products and protocols. Many of these products are decades old and were never designed with security in mind.
People like Dale Petersen and his Basecamp team have made an industry out of showing just how vulnerable these devices really are. Unfortunately these same systems are now connected to external systems using Ethernet and TCP/IP. That has been great for efficiency, but it exposes mission critical production systems to malware.