Report warns of increased industrial security risk

A study of industrial cyber security suggests that supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) systems might be even less safe from high-tech intrusions than previously thought. Utility companies, manufacturers and firms in other industries use SCADA systems to monitor and control disparate equipment from a central location.

Last fall the Burnaby-based British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) presented the report on SCADA security at the VDE Congress, a gathering of electrical, electronic and IT professionals in Berlin.

The BCIT’s report, dubbed “The Myths and Facts behind Cyber Security Risks for Industrial Control Systems”, describes a substantial increase in computer-based attacks on critical industrial IT infrastructure since 2000.

The move to open standards such as Ethernet, TCP/IP and Web technologies are letting hackers take advantage of the control industry’s ignorance.BCIT reportTextWhereas the BCIT recorded one to three industrial high-tech security incidents each year between 1995 and 2000, thereafter the number of reports climbed: four in 2001, six in 2002, and 10 in 2003.

The threats increased in part because companies rely more and more on standard networking protocols in SCADA environments, according to the report. SCADA systems used to employ less open, more vendor-specific technologies that were hard for digital intruders to crack. These days SCADA infrastructure includes common technology – networking protocols that hackers have learned to control.

“The move to open standards such as Ethernet, TCP/IP and Web technologies are letting hackers tack advantage of the control industry’s ignorance,” reads the BCIT’s report.

Want to forward this article? Send your friends and colleagues QuickLink 053458: recipients simply enter this number in the QuickLink box at the top of the page on the site to access the article directly. New visitors to the site will be asked to register – a simple, free, one time process.

Would you recommend this article?


Thanks for taking the time to let us know what you think of this article!
We'd love to hear your opinion about this or any other story you read in our publication.

Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

Featured Download

Featured Articles

Empowering the hybrid workforce: how technology can build a better employee experience

Across the country, employees from organizations of all sizes expect flexibility...

What’s behind the best customer experience: How to make it real for your business

The best customer experience – the kind that builds businesses and...

Overcoming the obstacles to optimized operations

Network-driven optimization is a top priority for many Canadian business leaders...

Thriving amid Canada’s tech talent shortage

With today’s tight labour market, rising customer demands, fast-evolving cyber threats...

Staying protected and compliant in an evolving IT landscape

Canadian businesses have changed remarkably and quickly over the last few...

Related Tech News

Tech Jobs

Our experienced team of journalists and bloggers bring you engaging in-depth interviews, videos and content targeted to IT professionals and line-of-business executives.

Tech Companies Hiring Right Now