Industrial infrastructure – power grids, oil and gas facilities, or industrial manufacturing sites – have become tempting targets for cyber attackers, whether they are criminal gangs seeking to earn money from ransomware attacks. “or state sponsored hacking operations for the purpose of espionage and destabilization.
Recent incidents – such as the ransomware attack on energy giant Colonial Pipeline – have shown how vulnerable industrial infrastructure is to hackers – and that attacks against these systems can have a wider impact on the world. General public. Many industrial networks have been operating with the same technology for decades and the need to secure them against attacks is well known.
However, with increased attention to the security of industrial control systems, it is now possible to ensure that networks are protected against cyber attacks. But if this opportunity is ignored, it could prove costly in the long run, leaving critical infrastructure vulnerable to malicious hackers. “I think we are now getting to the point where we had the opportunity to get ahead of this problem, and now this problem has caught up with us,” said Sergio Caltagirone, vice president of Threat Intelligence at Dragos, interviewed by the editorial staff of .
Start at the top
“There are very few opportunities in cybersecurity where you have a head start and this is one where we still have a breathing space – even if we are not as far ahead as we should. We can see that this is going to be a bigger problem, we all know that, “recalls the latter.
For him, action must come from the top down: “You have to start at the top. Boards of directors and government policy groups must start putting pressure on operators – whether they are ‘state operators, quasi-state operations or totally private operations – they must put pressure on organizations to act,’ Caltagirone said. This has already started in the United States, where the White House has ordered relevant authorities to develop cybersecurity performance targets for critical infrastructure.
In the meantime, it is critical that organizations that operate industrial systems understand their networks, the potential security holes they may contain, and who is authorized to access what. This is essential to prevent attacks from accessing the network or to detect unauthorized access as quickly as possible. “As a hacker, you are going to spend months studying the operations of these facilities. And as a defender, this is a critical time when you could have found them and done something, to prevent them from knowing enough. to do what they wanted to do, “notes Sergio Caltagirone. And to add: “we have the opportunity to put an end to the threats, it is up to us to seize it”.