Critical infrastructures are constantly encountered with physical security threats due to the increasingly reported incidents. Since these utility providing plants, such as power substation, renewable energy plants, nuclear plants, oil and gas refinery, hydropower dam, water supply facility and other heavy industries, are mostly located in remote areas with vast coverage, real-time monitoring and surveillance for critical infrastructure have become a highly discussed subject to prevent uprising threats such as intruding theft and terrorism.
The central concept behind the initiatives of “Industrial IoT”, “Industrial Automation”, and “Industry 4.0” shares a similar characteristic – establishing OT and IT convergence by interconnecting all the sensor, devices and equipment through mainstream communication protocols such as Industrial Ethernet and Internet protocol. However, the convergence has made OT networks vulnerable towards cyber threats, as security loopholes are exposed and intruders may attack directly through IT networks. Therefore, in order to ensure uptimes forIT/OT converged production system in the smart factory, it is critical to conduct comprehensive forensic analysis regarding ICS network vulnerability and perform early detection of abnormal events or unauthorized access that could lead to system downtimes and the derived expensive costs.
After a series of high-profile cyber security incidents on critical infrastructures, governments and enterprises of such facilities have taken malwares seriously into considerations. Apparently, the malwares or ransomware over the past couple years, such as Stuxnet, WannaCry and Crash Override, have publically exposed the vulnerability of SCADA Networks or Industrial Control Systems in today’s power grid automation, petroleum sites and other critical infrastructures.
Most of the modern multi-story green buildings come with BAS (building automation system) for smart control of air circulation, water conservation and building climates. That is the reason why BAS-empowered buildings are sometimes referred to “smart buildings”. The BAS is a distributed control system based on computer networking to integrate monitoring and control subsystems, including HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning), lighting, fire, security, humidity and other significant factors to reduce energy consumption while maintaining the comforts for the residents.
The number of targeted cyber attacks has increased exponentially over the past years, and the rate of attacks has also risen particularly on the critical infrastructure, such as power station, gas refinery and transportation. Some major incidents of cyber attack on power sectors, like the Blackenergy attack on Ukrain’s power grids and the Stuxnet on Iranian nuclear plants, cut off their data flow and disrupt utility serviceability. Due to the increased service convergence of Information Technologies (IT) and Operational Technologies (OT), there is an urgent need for more comprehensive, multi-layer security measures for CIP (critical infrastructure protection) in order to ensure secured communications and mitigate the advanced cyber treats.