The SCADA System for pipelines.
Cyber warfare poses a serious threat to critical infrastructure of a country. It has been a major challenge for DoD officials, cyber attackers have already stolen tera byte of data from their infrastructure.

Most of the security expert and FBI agree that cyber attacks pose biggest threat to US vital infrastructure. “Cybergeddon” our daily economy which depend on inter connected vital network infrastructure is hacked by cyber attacker.

SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition – control power grids in all the utilities) “systems are used in industry to monitor and control plant status and provide logging facilities and are highly configurable“. SCADA system is a connection between control systems and the switches.

Cyber attackers have already led to multicity power outage outside of US. Recent attacks show that cyber attackers are getting more knowledgeable about SCADA system. In the past SCADA use to be exclusive system but now slowly getting integrated with the rest of the infrastructure and utilizing IP addressing scheme. Both introduce new threats and raise the risk of cyber attack.

Utilities are the most critical infrastructure in a sense because of other vital infrastructure dependency on power supply. Cyber attack on SCADA system has a potential of cybergeddon and should be protected as a very critical asset by both public and private sectors. Security through obscurity is not the answer for SCADA anymore.

In SCADA system, reasonable security can be achieved by embracing ISO 27k standard as a policy and eventually acquiring ISO 27001 (ISMS) certification. Organizations may start the certification process with limited scope (of critical processes) in the beginning, and increment the scope in each recertification attempt based on the resources available and management risk appetite. Information Security Management System (ISMS) can be a great value added process to manage ongoing monitoring, maintaining and for process improvement of SCADA. ISMS as a process in-place provides reasonable security safeguard to zero day attacks.

Ira Winkler on SCADA @ RSA 2008 “SCADA system has been poorly managed for decades”

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