Control System Cyber Incidents Are Real and Current Prevention and Mitigation Strategies Are Not Working

Jan. 19, 2022
There have been almost 12 million control system cyber incidents globally across all sectors resulting in more than 1,500 deaths, and more than $90BillionUS in direct damage. Our article, “Control System Cyber Incidents Are Real—and Current Prevention and Mitigation Strategies Are Not Working”, has been published in the January issue of IEEE Computer magazine. This article adds focus to the January 5th IEEE-led meeting on the lack of cyber security in process sensors in any industry cyber security standard. Additionally, the NATO article, “Guide for Protecting Industrial Automation and Control Systems Against Cyber Incidents” by Vytautas Butrimas also focused on control systems. Compare these control system efforts to US critical infrastructure protection efforts which have not addressed the unique aspects of insecure control system devices. Now recognize that Russia, China, Iran, and others are aware of these shortcomings. Hopefully, we will respond accordingly. 

Control system cyber incidents are real and damaging

There have been almost 12 million control system cyber incidents globally across all sectors resulting in more than 1,500 deaths, and more than $90BillionUS in direct damage.

Current prevention and mitigation strategies are not working

Our article, “Control System Cyber Incidents Are Real—and Current Prevention and Mitigation Strategies Are Not Working”, has been published in the January issue of IEEE Computer magazine (https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/stamp/stamp.jsp?tp=&arnumber=9681670 ). This article adds focus to the January 5th IEEE-led meeting on the lack of cyber security in process sensors in any industry cyber security standard (https://www.controlglobal.com/blogs/unfettered/cross-industry-meeting-to-address-the-gap-in-process-sensor-cyber-security-and-process-safety). Additionally, the NATO article, “Guide for Protecting Industrial Automation and Control Systems Against Cyber Incidents” by Vytautas Butrimas (https://enseccoe.org/data/public/uploads/2022/01/d2_guide-for-protecting-against-cyber-incidents-in-iacs-cei.pdf) also focused on control systems. The NATO guide provides an analysis of technology-based threats, both intentional and unintentional, to the safety, reliability, resilience and performance of critical energy infrastructure and how cyber risks to the technologies used to monitor and control physical processes in CEI can be addressed.

Compare these control system efforts to US critical infrastructure protection efforts which have not addressed the unique aspects of insecure control system devices. Now recognize that Russia, China, Iran, and others are aware of these shortcomings. We have a chance to improve cyber security, safety, and resilience of the critical infrastructures. Hopefully, we will respond accordingly.

Joe Weiss

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