The Evolution of Securing Critical Infrastructure

Everything evolves. Simply stated, the gradual development of something from a simple to a more complex form is what evolution is all about. When something ceases to evolve, yet still exists, it becomes classified as a living fossil. One example is the Ginkgo Biloba tree. It took millions of years for this evolution to cease. This all happened without any help from humans.


Key Considerations for the Department of Energy on Defending the Bulk Power Grid

On January 20, President Joseph Biden issued Executive Order (E.O.) 13990 to help protect U.S. bulk power organizations. This Order enacted a 90-day suspension of E.O. 13920 which was set by the previous administration. The new executive order empowered the Secretary of Energy (“Secretary”) to publish new criteria around pre-qualifying vendors of electric equipment, as well as to devise rules for helping U.S. entities replace electric devices at risk of sabotage.


A Fifth of IT Decision-Makers Not Confident in Their OT System Security, Reveals Survey

Attacks against operational technology (OT) and industrial control systems (ICS) grew dramatically in the past few years. Indeed, a 2020 report found that digital attacks against those two kinds of assets increased by over 2000% between 2018 and 2020. Many of those attacks involved vulnerabilities in Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) systems and other ICS hardware components or password spraying techniques.

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The Colonial Pipeline Incident Fallout and Building Zero-Trust

Back in March, a hacking group known as DarkSide began a campaign on Colonial Pipeline’s IT network and billing systems. On May 7th, Colonial publicly announces the attack, shuts down servers and some pipelines and pays DarkSide $4.4M in ransom. On May 12th, Colonial restores operations and announces fuel delivery timelines amidst panic buying at gas stations.


Industrial Cybersecurity: Guidelines for Protecting Critical Infrastructure

Over the weekend, the Alpharetta-based Colonial Pipeline was hit by an extensive ransomware attack that shut down its information technology (IT) and industrial operational technology (OT) systems. Simply put, an all-too-common ransomware event targeting IT systems encouraged a voluntary shutdown on the production side (OT) of the business to prevent further exposure. Colonial Pipeline is responsible for 45% of the gasoline, diesel fuel and natural gas transported from Texas to New Jersey.

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Taking an IT-Focused Approach to Securing OT Remote Operations at Municipal Utilities May be Risking Lives

The Oldsmar, Florida, water breach is two months behind us, but the lessons learned will continue to reverberate for thousands of budget-constrained municipal utilities in North America, as well as other regions across the world.


Industrial IoT Needs to Catch Up to Consumer IoT

When it comes to cybersecurity, industrial IT—consisting mainly of operational technology (OT) and industrial control systems (ICS)—has failed to keep up with development in the enterprise IT world. That’s mostly because industries’ adoption of internet technology has been slower when compared with enterprises. It would take some time to close the gap, but concerted efforts have already been made to upgrade the security of industrial IT and improve the efficiency of OT and ICS.


Report: USB threats to ICS systems have nearly doubled

The latest Honeywell USB Threat Report 2020 indicates that the number of threats specifically targeting Operational Technology systems has nearly doubled from 16% to 28%, while the number of threats capable of disrupting those systems rose from 26% to 59% over the same period. Let’s face it. Critical infrastructure operators in manufacturing, aerospace, energy, shipping, chemical, oil and gas, pulp and paper, water and wastewater, and building automation are heavily relying on USB devices.


Texas power failures highlight dangers of grid attacks

In mid-February, a winter storm left more than 4 million people in Texas without power. These outages lasted days, leading to substantial property damage and even death, and they paint a grim picture for the future. Should a cyberattack successfully infiltrate U.S. power grids, the results could be deadly. The Texas power failures did not result from a cyberattack, but they highlight how destructive grid outages can be.