Pike Research reports on cyber security

Industrial Defender-commissioned study pinpoints three key automation problem areas.

A report commissioned by Industrial Defender from Pike Research titled, ‘Convergence in automation systems protection’ identifies three key problem areas in automation—cyber security, regulatory compliance and operations. New IT-oriented control system technologies offer visibility and control, but at the expense of operating systems, applications and hardware that can be attacked in new ways. Many deployments ignore cyber security during installation and may require expensive and disruptive security retrofits to the live production environment. Compliance with regulatory requirements such as Sarbanes-Oxley, Payment Card Industry and Critical Infrastructure Protection standards may be patchy. A balance needs to be struck between enabling plant function and keeping system complexity manageable.

Many SCADA systems have evolved over decades without a ‘master plan.’ It is rare that an automation system is based on a single architecture with consistent policies for protection and monitoring. Companies are faced with a choice between purchasing multiple point solutions and engineering the component interfaces or buying an integrated suite of components from a single vendor. The Pike report (actually more of a 14 page long editorial) concludes with an endorsement of the single vendor approach. How this is to integrate the complex legacy frameworks described above is unclear—presumably that is where Industrial Defender comes in? More from Industrial Defender and Pike Research.

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