Minimize Security Exposure and maximize SCADA and ICS Security
Traditionally, SCADA and other IC systems were configured as an air-gapped network without internet access, which provided a higher level of resilience and security. Nowadays, SCADA systems are IP-enabled and thus as vulnerable as any other part of the IT system.
Industrial control systems (ICS/SCADA) have seen the increase in commercial components such as operating systems (Windows, Linux) and hardware (x86 architecture), as well as pervasive IP and Ethernet connectivity. The switch from a once completely air-gapped environment to interconnections with other parts of the business environment has led to a significant increase in the exposure of industrial control systems to various threats – from malware to new exploitation techniques. To ensure a safe and secure operating environment, organizations dedicate more and more resources to design, implement and operate various security solutions.
SCADA (in)security puts many aspects of our lives at stake. These systems monitor power plants, water facilities, chemical industry, transportation, civil engineering, healthcare, and other critical infrastructure enterprises. Key points that businesses should consider when deciding whether conduct a penetration test of the SCADA environment or not should include:
- Ensuring business continuity to assure the supply of life-essential goods and maintain an adequate living standard for all citizens;
- Protecting organizational equipment which represents highly valuable assets, thus preventing high business loss;
- Identifying segments of the system that call for attention in terms of cybersecurity and risk management.
Considering all the above stated, penetration tests of SCADA systems are much more demanding than in other types of systems. Potential side effects of penetration tests could pose severe consequences for society. Therefore, penetration testers should be experienced and reliable experts.
How We Perform ICS Security Check
As SCADA usually controls critical manufacturing or state-level infrastructure, it is of utmost importance to be as hacker-proof as possible. This can be achieved with regular penetration testing that checks and validates its security. An essential part of each penetration test is a detailed report with vulnerabilities ranked by their criticality.
Our ICS/SCADA security assessment service enables customers to see the effectiveness of their existing security solutions and procedures, as well as provide guidelines to strengthen their defense in depth.
Due to system specifics, SCADA testing is usually done in a demonstration environment. Testing in the production environment is only safe when the system is down for maintenance. This is usually a very short period scheduled for upgrades or other maintenance work and can rarely fit in a penetration test.
Therefore, our experts analyze ICS environments with the “white box” approach, thoroughly checking the architecture, security devices, and possible misconfigurations. If possible, white-box testing is upgraded with extensive penetration testing in a demonstration environment.
Penetration testing of SCADA environments requires expert knowledge in SCADA architecture, careful planning, and a tailored approach according to system specifics.
Our professionals have extensive expertise that enable our clients to check:
- organizational measures
- technical and operational measures
- security controls recommended by IEC 62443
The entire path of penetration testing starts with discovering and validating vulnerabilities, and ranking these vulnerabilities by criticality, thus defining the system’s exposure. The core of a penetration test is the exploitation or at least a breach attempt. This step provides valuable insights that form the foundation for recommendations outlined in the detailed technical report.
The take-away that our customers receive after the completed project includes:
- Executive summary report with risk analysis
- Remediation report with recommendations for improvement
- Technical report with detailed findings
- Documentation that allows you to recreate the results
The next step depends on you: eliminate vulnerabilities and run a validation test in new circumstances.