In 2014, Maroochydore council suffered sewage spills in public parks and resort golf courses as a result of being hacked by a contractor’s disgruntled employee in a cybersecurity incident. On the back of the infamous Stuxnet incident in 2010, where Iranian uranium centrifuges were damaged, hackers associated with Syria caused a pump to burn out in an Illinois water processing plant in 2011. And in 2016, Syrian hackers effectively changed the chemical levels in tap water at a US facility, and in another attack disrupted waterflow.
Cybersecurity Risks in Outdated Systems
Industrial Control Systems across all industries have a reputation for insecurities, and are often not maintained to prevent outages. Operational Technology systems are designed to be in place for decades, and a similar approach is often taken with supporting IT systems. One of the US water plants attacked in 2016 was found to be running an IBM server from the 1980s, which is a ringing endorsement for the longevity of 1980s IBM servers, however in contrast to that, corporate IT networks have a tech refresh cycle of three to five years.
IoT and Industry 4.0
Recent growth in Industry 4.0 has brought a plethora of Industrial Internet of Things (IIOT) sensors and a tsunami of data output, along with IT security issues associated with Industrial Control systems. It is worth noting that integrated solutions offer more streamlined operation, consistency and synergy.
Organisations looking to combine cybersecurity of their Operational Technology environment alongside brilliant analytics and data interpretation should consider an integrated product set to provide these functionalities.
Agilient has partnered with technology companies that participate in integrated solutions that provide unparalleled analytics and network segmentation. Contact us to discuss your organisation’s cybersecurity needs.