The industrial sector is of tremendous and strategic importance of a country’s development. With the Internet of Things, the modern industry has been revolutionized and turned into a new chapter by connecting billions of sensors and devices required to operate an integrated ecosystem. That is, informational technology (IT) and operational technology (OT) systems all together brought automation and interconnectivity into the existing facilities. Among them, the Critical Infrastructures automate the manufacturing of the products or services that contribute to our normal life-clean water we drink, stable energy to power our homes, emergency services that save our lives, smooth traffic flow, oil or gas. It is imaginable that any attack on any part of the critical infrastructure could impact almost every person. Over recent decades, the worldwide embrace of Industry 4.0 has boosted the facilities’ efficiency, yet regardless of their sophisticated infrastructure, how many are well-prepared for cyber-attacks that come along with this advancement?

How Automated System Infrastructures are Exposed to Cyber Threats

●     COVID-19 Heightened Cyber Threats

Due to the quarantine and social distancing policy, the workforce has been shifted from plants to remote sites, leading to reduced human resources on maintaining the critical infrastructure and increasing potential leaks through the company’s security barriers. Imagine, during a remote connection from an endpoint to the plant, if the worker’s device is compromised, the consequence could be that the hacker gets to access the OT and ICS system to read the data or control the operational process. A more terrifying level can be the manipulated shutdown of the power grid or a city’s traffic control system.

●     5G Risks May Spread to Industrial Environments

The rise of 5G in 2019 comes with both new opportunities and vulnerabilities. What makes 5G so unprecedentedly appealing is its high business potential for its use in deployments, which is especially desired by traditional industries with less secured and legacy devices.

●     Mixed Types of Cyber Attacks Are Already in Sight

Leveraging IIoT and 5G connectivity, cybercriminals will go to lengths to step up their attacks on IIoT devices and critical infrastructure. Every single device from a pump, a temperature monitor, an IP camera or a drone connected to an ICS is exposed to the threats. Most enterprises have experienced various means of attacks such as spear-phishing, compromised credentials, malware, or ransomware. In the coming future, we can foresee more tailored, diverse, simultaneous attacks and even physical break-in combined with digital cyber-attack techniques.

Getting the Head-start in Protecting against Cyber Attacks.

Deploying the right security approaches can help reduce risks across your critical infrastructure and enhance industrial-grade cyber-security. To do so, you can:

●     Embrace the Convergence of IT and OT Teams
In order to inherently survive the new threats, enterprises should leverage the expertise of both IT security and OT experts to prioritize the cybersecurity risks and devise an integrated security strategy together.

●     Develop Security Policies for the Brain and Neurons of Your System

PLCs (Programmable Logic Controller) and RTUs (Remote Terminal Unit) are both essential to the operation of your OT environments. Utilizing available detection methodologies to identify threats in advance, applying security fixes/upgrades and keeping last-good-state configurations of your systems are fundamental in reducing cyber risks.

●     Ensure Full Visibility across your IT/OT Environments

To gain the whole picture of activities across your system, it is crucial to monitor or restrict (if necessary) the network traffic and access on ports used inside the networks. In addition to gaining full visibility of the IT footprint, the thorough asset inventory is equally important. After all, you cannot protect what you cannot see.

Lanner’s Offering

Lanner’s LEC-6041 is designed to protect the communication in both IT and OT domains. LEC-6041 Series is empowered by Intel Atom x7-E3950 or x5-E3930 for low power consumption and high processing performance. As a rugged firewall deployed in challenging environments, LEC-6041 comes with IEC 61850-3 and IEEE 1613 certification, as well as 1.5 KV magnetic isolation protections for LAN port and 15KV ESD Protection for I/O ports. The system can operate in a wide range of operating temperature from -40°C to 70°C. All of the hardware designs assure that the security gateway LEC-6041 will never have downtime while operating in hazardous surroundings such as OT environment.

Featured Product


IEC 61850-3 Wide Temperature ICS Cyber Security Gateway with Intel Atom CPU

CPU Intel Atom x7-E3950 or x5-E3930
Chipset SoC

Read more