How Cyber Risks Flow From Internet-Connected Automation

Posted August 17, 2015 at 5:10am

“The rush to automate more factory processes may look like it’s saving money…it’s a dangerous trend that’s spreading cyber vulnerabilities across entire industries,” writes Defense One . “And it will only get worse.”  

“How ubiquitous is open Internet connectivity in supervisory command and control systems? You would be surprised. ‘Where and when something happens is almost completely under cyber control,’ said Jason Larsen, a principal security consultant at the group IOACTIVE . ‘Opening and closing valves is almost always under cyber control.’ Larsen spoke during a demonstration that showed how un opening and closing of valves can cause heat and pressure buildups as well as massive container destruction, and leaks of volatile or poisonous chemicals.”  

“For starters, simple two-factor authentication and other means to keep passwords safe should be much more common. They’re exactly the sorts of measures that the Office of Personnel Management was able to quickly put in place after a major breach.”