Cyber Research Center - Industrial Control Systems - CRC-ICS

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Industrial Control Systems - Cyber News

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Critical Infrastructures and Industries are slowly waking up to the fact that its facilities are in the crosshairs, the targets of cyber attacks by bad actors trying to exploit vulnerabilities in industrial control systems (ICS's) / critical infrastructures (CI) to steal intellectual property or damage or take over control of critical equipment. It's a cyber war out there. Is your organisation aware of these threats and ready for battle? Read the latest Cyber News here!

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Security Lessons we Learned from 2016

January 2017: The year 2016 proved to be a bane with respect to cyber-security, with many private and public entities falling victim to major cyber incidents. Even the US Presidential elections were not spared, thus raising the question Who is safe in an increasingly virtual world? As technology evolves and becomes more connected, it will be easier for hackers to tap into the vulnerabilities. Unfortunately, we learnt it the hard way. Here are some very real lessons in security management from the cyber incidents of 2016.
  1. Security emerges as an in-demand market: Every cloud has a silver lining, and this was more so evident in the mushrooming of security solution providers during the past years. As virtual hacks increased, so did the means of tackling them. Specialized skills were built by niche consultants and customers leveraged these to make themselves cyber-ready. In fact, security spending has emerged as a top priority post-2016. Predictions for the market are good, with Cyber security Ventures predicting that global spends on security products and services will hit $1 trillion between 2017 and 2021.
  2. Ransomware will rule: On the flipside, hackers are getting more innovative and money-savvy. Ransomware and distributed-denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks dominated 2016. For example, the attack on a Californian hospital, followed by one on the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency. FBS data states that in Q1, 2016, $209 million was paid in ransom to cyber hack groups. This has spiralled to a worrisome number of $1 billion for the entire year. 
  3. Collaboration will cut the chase: Companies can expect to get rid of cyber-hack chases by collaborating well. A number of technology partner programs have been launched—LightCyber, Blue Coat Systems and Skyhigh Networks. Ready-deliverable security integrations make it possible to adopt quickly and as per business needs. It is not about standing alone—join hands and fend off the fickle minded. 
  4. A strong political streak emerged: US elections, Russian-sponsored hack, tiff between Apple and the FBI regarding consumer privacy—the list of politics meddling with the security agenda is endless. One can expect the same political-led debates and happenings in 2017—be it the cyber-security policy or expectations on personal privacy versus national security. 
  5. Data security is the new flavor: A shift is seen from perimeter-based network security measures to endpoint and data security. Start-ups such as Cylance, Cybereason, CounterTack and Crowdstrike in the endpoint security space, have emerged and are expected to become more popular in 2017. Biggies in the space, include Palo Alto Networks and Cisco—they started exploring the endpoint market in 2016. One can expect this trend to continue in the coming year. 
  6. Money matters matter: Companies have faced huge hits to their revenues, owing to security hassles. Yahoo ended up spending more than $1 billion on the two data breaches it was subjected to. Its prospective $4.8-billion deal with Verizon, is also on the brink of collapse. Never before have the financial repercussions of security breaches been so stark, sending a dire warning to remain cyber safe in 2017. 
  7. IoT Security is a critical need: With a super connected Internet of Things (IoT) world, comes a super threat to disrupting life and work. The recent attack on DNS provider Dyn, leading to major Internet outages, is proof enough. Companies must jolt themselves back to reality and understand that securing IoT networks through and through, is not a choice but a necessity. 
  8. Consolidation is the way ahead: A disparate and fragmented industry cannot create true value for the customer, be it cost value or solution effectiveness. The year 2016 saw some major consolidations, such as Symantec-Bluecoat, Confer-Carbon Black and so on. The trend will continue, with shared value being realised in the quest to become cyber pitfall-proof.
  9. Cyber Terrorism & Cyber Warfare: We have seen in 2016 several serious cyber attacks on Critical Infrastructures like the cyber attacks on the Power Grid in Ukraine and Utility installations in several other countries. Cyber Terrorism & Cyber Warfare will be a common way of operations in 2017 and beyond.
  10. Critical Infrastructures under attack: Statistics show that in several countries critical infrastructures are under a continuous attack from rogue group or nation-state sponsored groups motivated by political intents. So be prepared for these type of attacks by having Cyber Awareness, Cyber Resistance and Cyber Resilience in harmony, implemented and tested.

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