The Importance of Protecting Industrial Control Systems

Dellfer has announced yet another exciting achievement in its mission to assist operators through the crucial process of protecting against threats and intrusions. The ZeroDayGuard Platform has been approved by TUV-SUD as the first cybersecurity solution to receive the IEC 61508 certification at any SIL for industrial control systems developer toolkit safety. Before diving into what this means, it’s important to set the stage for why achieving this standard is so important.

Cyberattacks Target Industrial Control Systems

Because of the impact that can stem from a breach on an industrial control system, they have increasingly piqued the interest of bad actors. Pair that with more sophisticated capabilities on behalf of attackers and mounting geopolitical tensions, namely between Russia and Ukraine, risk levels are at a high. A prime example of this was the assault on Ukraine’s energy grid in 2016. A malware attack known as Industroyer caused a large-scale blackout and led to a significant turning point in concern over the cyber safety of critical infrastructure, which heavily relies on industrial control systems.

Luckily, when the Industroyer2 attempt was uncovered right before Russia’s recent invasion of Ukraine, it was stopped before creating any further damage. As Robert Lipovsky, principal threat intelligence researcher at ESET, explained during a presentation at Black Hat 2022, “The attack was thwarted thanks to a prompt response by the defenders at the targeted energy company, and the work of CERT-UA and our assistance.”

What remains, though, is the potential of a third version of Industroyer. This type of unknown threat doesn’t just have experts in Ukraine on their toes. It also has the United States looking to guard its own industrial control systems. A bill titled “Industrial Control Systems Cybersecurity Training Act” was passed the US House of Representatives with the goal of strengthening cybersecurity measures amid the rising risks associated with Russian activity. Specifically, it aims to facilitate a training program focused entirely on industrial control systems.

The Importance of Certified Cybersecurity Solutions

Meanwhile, the industrial control systems market is expected to continue growing. For instance, the Industrial Control Systems (Energy & Power) market size is expected to reach 183,420 million USD by 2028. So, with the expanding threat landscape and demand, the time is now to take proactive cybersecurity action.

This is where the ZeroDayGuard Platform steps in. By receiving the IEC 61508 certification, our solution is stamped as a viable and relevant tool for today’s operators working in the current environment, including the surge in IoT dependence. As described by TUV-SUD, “IEC 61508 is the granddaddy of all functional safety standards and is applicable to all industries.” The organization goes on to explain that “61508 provides functional safety standards for the lifecycle of electrical, electronic, or programmable electronic (E/E/PE) systems and products. It addresses those parts of a device or system that perform automated safety functions including, for example, sensors, control logic, actuators, and micro-processors. It provides a rigorous quantitative approach to risk reduction.”

By categorizing the ZeroDayGuard cybersecurity program alongside security measures, it demonstrates the growing interconnectedness of the two approaches. With unmatched visibility, speed and accuracy, “Dellfer’s ZeroDayGuard™ makes it possible to harden the billions of industrial control systems making them impervious to attacks,” said Ken Wante, vice president of engineering at Dellfer.

We look forward to continuing to help organizations as they look to shield their industrial control systems from cyber incidents that would otherwise put their overall security in jeopardy.

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