- Tactical Briefs
- Collaborative Manufacturing
- Control Panel Optimization
- Embedded systems & Trends
- Energy Efficiency
- Ethernet I/O Networking
- Factory Floor Network Deployment
- Factory Floor Network Reliability
- Fieldbus I/O
- Hands-on Guide to OEE
- HMI, From the Web to the Cloud
- Internet of Things
- Machine Safety
- Machine Safety Standards & Strategies
- Mechatronics @ Work: Insight & Technology Solutions
- Opening Up Your Gateway to Asia
- Real-time Operational Intelligence (RtOI)
- The power of PackML
| January 23, 2013
Security: How IT and Industrial Control Differ
When your “nail” is computer system security, the “hammer” is often commercial IT security measures.
And though a good dose of IT security is essential to industrial control system security, successfully securing a control system requires additional steps.
A recent release from Tofino Security highlighted the unique aspects of industrial control systems that set their security measures apart from most IT systems. Some of these factors included control systems placement on the plant floor, rather than a climate controlled data center; their potential for placement in or close to hazardous environments; plus the fact that the average life span of equipment on the plant floor is measured in decades rather than a few years.
Referencing information from a Belden Industrial Ethernet Infrastructure Design Seminar, the Tofino release boiled down the differences between IT and ICS (industrial control system) security solutions to the fact that each system has different:
• Performance requirements;
• Reliability requirements;
• Operating systems and applications;
• Risk management goals;
• Security architectures; and
• Security goals.
Security goals are an essential difference between the two. For example, the number one goal of IT security is focused on privacy, i.e., protecting the data; whereas the number one goal of ICS security is based on safety, i.e., protecting the process. Three major categories of ICS security issues are outlined in the seminar. Those issues are:
Soft targets. According to Belden, control networks are full of what are known as “soft” targets—devices vulnerable to disruption through their network interface.
Multiple pathways. These pathways often bypass existing security measures in the plant, and some don’t even appear on a network diagram.
Flat networks. Many ICS networks are still implemented as large, “flat” networks with no isolation between unrelated subsystems.
>> David Greenfield, [email protected], is Media and Events Director for Automation World.
E-Book Special Report
IT Delivers on Automation’s Promise
Sign up to receive timely updates from the editors at Automation World and download this FREE Special Report on the transformative power of data in manufacturing. By integrating information and automation technologies, manufacturers are finally achieving major gains in productivity from their automated systems.