Uniloc Inc., the leader in device-based authentication, today announced its top ten rules for securing SCADA networks and Industrial Control Systems. Uniloc’s advice comes at a time when threats to control systems can originate from numerous sources such as terrorists, industrial spies, disgruntled employees, malicious intruders, human errors and accidents, equipment failures, and natural disasters. Addressing this threat, Uniloc recently unveiled NetAnchor CIS™, a powerful device-based Identity and Access Management (IAM) appliance for securing critical infrastructures against such potentially catastrophic threats to water and power utilities, oil and gas infrastructure, transportation networks and large industrial environments.
In a paper entitled, Ten Rules for Combating Cyber Security Attacks on Critical Infrastructure, Jim White, head of Uniloc’s infrastructure security group, presents guidelines for addressing challenges in securing the nation’s critical infrastructure.
“Following the release of our NetAnchor CIS critical infrastructure security solution, many customers asked us to send them basic information about how best to secure their SCADA networks,” said Jim White, VP, Business Development for Uniloc. “After receiving significant feedback from the industry, it is in the best interest of our nation that those managing its critical infrastructure have the most advanced technology and methodologies available for securing these networks.”
Uniloc’s Top Ten Rules for Combating Cyber Attacks on Critical Infrastructure
Begin with your environment
1. Do Serious Risk Analysis. Determine what your exposure is to identified threats, their consequences, cost of mitigation and risk tolerance. Create a risk profile of critical assets, using it as a basis to develop policies and procedures prior to deploying technologies.
2. Implement policies and procedures. Before implementing any technical solution, create a comprehensive set of policies and procedures that serve as guidance to operators, security personnel, vendors, and anybody who could have access to or contact with SCADA systems.
3. Ignore training at your peril. Often overlooked, staff training is one of the most important components of a good security plan. Having the right technical policies, procedures and infrastructure is useless without people knowing how to properly use them. Training should encompass all aspects of your security plan.
4. Make security policies as important as safety policies. You should have zero tolerance within the organization for security breaches across any aspect of your SCADA environment. Such breaches can lead to loss of life, bodily injury or other consequences such as a detrimental impact on the environment or local community.
5. Integrate physical and cyber security. Physical access controls and surveillance technologies need to be integrated into an overall cyber security infrastructure. Just as SCADA has migrated to the use of IP protocols and COTs technologies, access and surveillance functions have moved in parallel. Integrating these functions creates a coordinated approach to protecting critical systems.
Know your enemy -- better yet, know your friends
6. Create a “trust” zone. Isolate cyber assets from all personnel except those specifically authorized. Focus on methodologies and technologies that authenticate and authorize only those who are trusted and prohibits all others by default.
7. Establish authentication for users and devices/systems. Device /system “fingerprinting” provides the first layer in creating a “cyber fortress” architecture. Such architecture creates a trust perimeter for both SCADA systems and access clients based on the actual physical fingerprint authentication of systems and devices.
8. Strictly enforce privileges. Ensure that only authenticated systems and clients are allowed to communicate across an encrypted communications channel. All applications should use Role Based Access Control (RBAC) at both the application and device level. Device fingerprinting technology allows RBAC to be implemented at a level that has not been available before -- the device itself.
9. Use dynamic password methodologies. Periodically changing passwords is a best-practice policy worth following. However, in some cases the policy can be restrictive and unenforceable. Using a dynamic challenge and response mechanism between hardware devices creates a hardware password that is enforced dynamically and only known between trusted devices.
10. Adopt physical device recognition. Many companies seek to mitigate the risk of problems caused by humans (traditionally the ‘weak link’ in security systems) by using multi-factor authentication, notably human biometrics such as retina scanning, smart cards, and fingerprinting. While all of these serve to identify an authorized user, most are not practical in an industrial environment. The best solution is to include a user’s computer as part of an identity and access control solution, validating identity through multi-factor identification.
About NetAnchor CIS
NetAnchor CIS protects SCADA networks using Uniloc physical device recognition to restrict access to distributed field components to designated computers used by authorized personnel at the control center and in the field. With NetAnchor CIS, an authorized user must be on an authorized device to access control system networks. NetAnchor CIS provides notification and location of unauthorized connection attempts to the NetAnchor CIS Virtual Private Network (VPN) as well as attempted physical connection attempts to a NetAnchor CIS field security appliance. NetAnchor CIS also shields control systems against malicious code threats, ensuring against network vulnerabilities and allowing centralized field security monitoring.
About Uniloc Device-Based Authentication
Physical Device Recognition (PDR) is the core technology behind NetAnchor CIS and is based on the fundamental principle that no two digital devices are identical. The process of physical device recognition starts by generating a digital identity for a device, known as its "Physical Device Fingerprint." A physical device fingerprint is made up of a combination of machine characteristics and properties that are generated using a set of proprietary algorithms. The Uniloc Physical Device Fingerprinting algorithms allow the unique, reproducible identification of a device with an accuracy greater than 3.4 * 10^38, allowing Uniloc to identify devices with more comparable accuracy than human DNA testing. When applied to NetAnchor CIS, the stage is set for this device-based authentication to stand as the leading access control solution for infrastructure security.
Uniloc USA is the technology leader in electronic Physical Device Recognition (PDR) for critical infrastructure security. The core technology platform driving Uniloc innovation is physical device fingerprinting, the company’s patented method of uniquely identifying a user device, such as a PC or PDA, by the naturally occurring, inherent physical imperfections of that device, and then incorporating that physical device fingerprint into licenses or access credentials. Uniloc’s technologies can identify devices with more comparable accuracy than human DNA. Uniloc is the inventor and holder of the seminal physical device locking patent (U.S. 5,490,216) and has 9 related patents pending. Uniloc has applied its Physical Device Fingerprinting technical expertise to several vertical markets, including software publishing, network authentication, transportation, social networking and DVD retailing.
NetAnch CIS is a trademark of Uniloc USA. All other brand and product names are, or may be trademarks of their respective owners.