The Growing Need for SCADA Security

As technology continues to grow in sophistication, so do the techniques that hackers use to target people and systems. We have a great need to protect our data through the implementation of rigorous security standards. Failing to do so is risky and potentially costly. Industries that rely on SCADA technology to collect data (such as the wastewater and energy sectors) have an increasing need for heightened protection. The need for better SCADA security practices has grown with time.

For example, in the energy sector, some potential security vulnerabilities include:

  • Energy meters
  • Switches and controls
  • Protective relays

What Can Cyber Criminals Do with Access to a Power Meter?

To put it bluntly, you want to protect your SCADA network. Failing to do so could allow cybercriminals to access sensitive data or gain remote functionality. For instance, if a hacker were to gain access to a power meter, they could manipulate its configurations and maliciously trigger operations.

When hackers change the configurations of the meter, they can cause it to look like the meter is out of power. This could trigger a scheme of false control. With false controls setup, it can have a negative impact on the power equipment. Getting your SCADA system back up and running can be difficult. Cyber security should always be approached seriously. The results from these attacks can end in great financial losses.

What Measures Can Stop Hackers?

There are a few different cyber security measures that can be taken in order to protect your SCADA system. For example, you can use encrypted configuration power meters. Encryption makes the hacker’s job much more difficult.

Using digital signature technology is another form of protection. This means that operators must are required to use a matching signature in order to get the data they need. Using a strong password is a must. For a four-character password, it only takes an average of four minutes for hackers to break through the system.

Another security option for your SCADA network is to limit what data that people can and can’t see. Additionally, you can limit what they can download, view, edit, and reset – but this solution is not ideal. You want your operators to have full access to the data they need.

The above mentioned security solutions, while effective, aren’t as good as they could be. Fortunately, a far more robust option is available to supplement any holes that may exists – a SOC 2 certification.

Employ the Use of SOC 2

What is SOC 2 and how does it relate to SCADA security? SOC 2 is an audit process that is performed in accordance with AT-C 205. It is security based on Trust Service Criteria and is commonly employed in four broad areas that include:

  • Communications
  • Policies
  • Monitoring
  • Procedures

Each of these criteria will have a corresponding point of focus, and you will need to meet this overall area if you will adhere to these guidelines. When you understand these types of things, it will add an additional level of security that will help to keep you safe.

High Tide Technologies is in the process of receiving a SOC 2 certification, which will give us the most secure cloud-based SCADA network in the business.

Never Neglect Cyber Security

When it comes to data protection, you don’t want to neglect your SCADA security. The need for heightened SCADA security is a relatively new problem to solve. In the past, it was necessary to physically deploy people to help with monitoring and maintaining an industrial system. However, the introduction of cloud-based SCADA has made it easy to operate under streamlined processes. With this cost-effective efficiency comes a growing need for more rigorous cyber security protection practices.

When attacks on a SCADA network occur, they typically exploit physical and cyber vulnerabilities. You have to align yourself with effective security practices to ensure that you get the most functionality from your SCADA network. Cyber attacks have grown increasingly sophisticated over time, which means that there is a growing need for improved SCADA security practices.

High Tide Technologies employs the most rigorous SCADA security standards to ensure that our customers, along with their data and equipment, are fully protected.