The industrial environment, especially the energy sector, is one of sectors that is suffering the most from cyber-attacks. This trend has been increasing in recent years, as this is one of the most information-sensitive sectors and can cause major problems, both economically and socially.
One of the best examples of malware attacks is BlackEnergy. This malware became known for being able to compromise several electricity distributors on 23 December 2015, causing households in the Ivano-Frankvisk region of Ukraine (a population of around 1.5 million) to be without electricity.
For this reason, due to seriousness of this type of cyberattacks, it is necessary to continue researching and investing in industrial cybersecurity, to reduce the damage caused by this type of cyber-attack in industrial environments.
IoT networks are very useful for everyday life, but their use is not limited only to this type of environment; there are industrial environments where this type of networks can benefit connectivity between industrial devices and provide capabilities that other types of networks could not. The 3rd Generation Partnership Project or 3GPP developed the NB-IoT protocol, a protocol for when networks with higher performance, higher speed and high interconnectivity capacity between devices are required. This protocol can work both in IoT devices and in IoT devices in the industrial environment (IIoT).
The OPC UA (OPC unified architecture) communication protocol is the most modern standard presented by OPC Foundation. Currently, the OPC UA protocol is one of the most widely used in industrial environments, due to its ability to interconnect different devices, regardless of their base protocol and vendor.
Throughout this article, a technical assessment of the protocol will be conducted, explaining in detail the technical capabilities that allow a high level of cybersecurity to be implemented without causing performance losses in the devices.
In the industrial world, there are a large number of systems, equipment, networks, areas, ducts, cloud environments, IT-OT environments, etc. In recent years, the number of attacks on industrial environments has been growing exponentially, and not only on purely industrial environments, but also on corporate environments that are connected to industrial environments. These IT environments being access points for attackers due to this IT/OT connectivity.
Firmware analysis can help to uncover potential vulnerabilities that would otherwise never have been discovered.
Although there are multiple types of attacks on IoT and IIoT devices, this guide focuses on the firmware of these devices to check for potential vulnerabilities, using security testing and reverse engineering to allow for an in-depth analysis of the firmware.
The evolution of communications in society is also having an impact on the industrial world. With the arrival of 5G, many industrial companies have considered migrating some of their communications to take advantage of the characteristics of this new mobile communications band, such as the reduction of latency times, the increase in connection speed or the exponential increase in the number of devices that can be connected to the network. These characteristics fit perfectly with the industrial mentality, where there are a multitude of interconnected devices between which there cannot be a communication cut due to the criticality of the processes they implement.
This article aims to comment, in addition to all the advantages that 5G provides to the industry, the different uses that can be given currently and the complexity of implementing these communications in some devices for subsequent deployment in the industry. Also, to specify possible vulnerabilities in communications using 5G networks.
External access provides great convenience to workers, as it allows them to access any industrial equipment deployed in the field from the office or even further away. However, this type of access can pose a number of security problems for the company. This article reviews the main problems and how to solve them.
Within the industrial world, systems can be detected that do not have all their cybersecurity capabilities activated. This can occur for a variety of reasons, but if detected, each case must be analyzed to get the most out of each device.
The ability to robustly configure programs, services or other nuances within industrial systems is called bastioning and allows, among other things, to prevent assets from having a large exposure to the network or the solutions deployed in the system from having vulnerabilities resulting from misconfiguration.
In this article, we will begin by explaining what hardening is and how to apply it to our industrial network, along with some good practices to follow.
In recent years, the constant technological evolution has made possible a large number of advances that would have been unthinkable years ago. In industrial environments, one of the latest developments that promises to stand out and is here to stay are virtual PLC.
The virtualization of these controllers will make it possible to decouple the hardware from the software, i.e. the software will be installed in the engineering stations, while the hardware will remain in another area outside the production area.