Critical infrastructure covers a vast array of systems that modern societies rely on to ensure safety, security and service. Industrial control systems (ICS) and critical infrastructure are common targets for cybercrime, with almost 40% of them facing a cyber-attack at some point in the second half of last year.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security deems 16 sectors as critical as their failure to function would jeopardize public health and economic security. These industrial sectors include chemical, physical facilities, communications networks, critical manufacturing, defense, industrial, emergency services, energy, dams, financial services, food & agriculture, government facilities, healthcare, IT, nuclear materials, transportation and water and waste system.
Given the wide scope of these critical areas, each comes with its own unique challenges regarding information they utilize to ensure services—to both citizens and businesses, that rely on stability in order to prosper. Yet, they do have one thing in common, an increase in destructive malware attacks in recent years; as damaging any of these sectors can greatly affect a society.
Governments are well aware of the growing issue of infrastructure attacks. A quote which began with then Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta in 2012 has been repeated throughout government, most recently by Ret. Adm. James Stavridis telling CNBC, “We’re headed toward a cyber Pearl Harbor, and it is going to come at either the grid or the financial sector.”
In this recent whitepaper, The Cybersecurity Challenges in Critical Infrastructure, we discuss critical infrastructure, how it differs from traditional IT environments and the challenges that lay ahead.