New Technology, New Risks: Cyber Concerns for Industrial Control Systems

July 2017

cyber-industrial-controls-250x324Advisen and FM Global are proud to release a white paper that looks into attacks against industrial control systems (ICS) and points out that vulnerabilities are real and growing. The 10-page paper also highlights that as the industrial automation continues —  with internet of things (IoT) devices growing massively over the years, the vulnerabilities will only increase.

Meeting the Challenges, Minimizing the Risks

While ever-increasing connectivity means more convenience and efficiency for consumers and businesses, it also creates more cyber risk— for additional industries and sectors that had not thought much about cyber threats. For users of industrial control systems (ICS), the new reality of cyber risks manifested in 2010 when the Stuxnet worm was discovered in Iran’s Natanz nuclear facility. Since then, experts have uncovered a rising number of vulnerabilities in Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) systems, businesses have scrambled to understand the threats, and the insurance industry has given much thought to how to cover the new and emerging risks.

And while widespread loss from an ICS cyberattack has yet to occur, documented attacks clearly demonstrate the magnitude of the threat should critical infrastructure facilities be targeted.

ICS cyberattacks can be mitigated not just by getting the right software, hardware and networks. Organizations should also be able to invest in industrial control systems cybersecurity to help transfer part of the risk.

A stronger education effort is also needed to instill cybersecurity as part of company culture. The training of all personnel should be part of an overall plan. Across the entire ICS lifecycle, it should be understood who has access and when. Security and education measures should be taken accordingly.