Digital threats confronting Critical National Infrastructure (CNI) are on the rise. That’s because attackers are increasingly going after the Operational Technology (OT) and Industrial Control Systems (ICS) that shareholders use to protect these assets.
Digital attack attempts in industrial environments are on the rise. In February 2020, IBM X-Force reported that it had observed a 2,000% increase in the attempts by threat actors to target Industrial Control Systems (ICS) and Operational Technology (OT) assets between 2018 and 2010. This surge eclipsed the total number of attacks against organizations’ industrial environments that had occurred over the previous three years combined.
In the last quarter of 2019, researchers at ClearSky uncovered an attack operation that they dubbed the “Fox Kitten Campaign.” Iranian actors used this offensive to gain persistent access into the networks of dozens of companies operating in Israel and around the world across the IT, telecommunication, oil and gas, aviation, government and security sectors. These individuals were successful in their efforts because they employed a variety of attack vectors.
Even before the Coronavirus pandemic created an environment ripe for bad actors to exploit, cybersecurity was a top priority at many companies. Most industries identified cybersecurity as a serious threat to their business continuity and longevity. Since the onset of COVID-19, 75% of business leaders view cybersecurity as a top priority to while navigating the new normal. It’s easy to see why.
You don’t have to search very far in the news to see stories of websites being hacked and customer details being stolen. Stories about incidents involving industrial control systems (ICSes) and operational technology (OT) environments aren’t so common. But they are prevalent. Just the other week, for example, an airline company sent out an email letting me know that their database had been hacked and that my travel details might have been taken.
The Coronavirus pandemic is proving to be one of the most disruptive forces of our generation. In addition to being a prolific public health emergency that’s tragically cost the lives of hundreds of thousands of people, the economic implications have been vast and far-reaching. As a result, companies of every size in nearly every sector are contending with a new financial reality.
Security researchers recently discovered six critical vulnerabilities in third-party code that could expose hundreds of thousands of OT environments to remote code execution attacks. These vulnerabilities were found in Wibu-Systems’ CodeMeter software, a license management platform that is used widely by some of today’s leading industrial control system (ICS) product vendors, include Rockwell Automation and Siemens.
By now, most are aware that the Covid-19 pandemic has led to a spike in cyberattacks. This sharp increase in malicious activity related to COVID has taken the typical form of adversaries seeking to benefit financially, gain unauthorized access to networks for immediate and long-term strategic benefit, and spread misinformation with political agendas.