ICS Security Risks Evolve
July 12, 2017
Institute's annual survey of industrial control systems (ICS)
security practitioners finds that threats are shifting,
identifying attacks remains challenging, and some basic security
practices are not implemented.
The fourth year of the survey found some improvements in
protecting critical assets and infrastructure, while other
challenges have emerged. For example, four out of 10 ICS
security practitioners lack visibility or sufficient supporting
intelligence into their ICS networks, which is one of the
primary impediments to securing these systems. Ransomware was
newly identified as a top threat, along with the growing
addition of devices to the network.
Despite the high-profile news coverage of recent attacks of
unpatched systems, SANS found that only 46% of respondents
regularly apply vendor-validated patches. An astounding 12%
neither patch nor layer controls around critical control system
Gregory-Brown, survey author, noted, "Changes in ICS/SCADA
environments have historically come at a pretty slow pace, but
this pace is accelerating with IT/OT convergence, and the speed
of change is challenging everyone working with these systems to
keep up or accept growing levels of risk."
Survey responders placed the highest priority on keeping OT
systems reliable and available.
"With nearly 69% of ICS security practitioners saying threats to
the ICS systems are high or severe and critical, it becomes
clear that companies must pay attention at the highest levels to
ensure the safety, reliability and integrity of their company's
control systems," said Doug Wylie, director of the Industrials &
Infrastructure Practice Area at SANS Institute.