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Engineering Workstations Used as Initial Access Vector in Many ICS/OT Attacks: Survey

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Engineering Workstations Used as Initial Access Vector in Many ICS/OT Attacks: Survey

Engineering Workstations Used as Initial Access Vector in Many ICS/OT Attacks: Survey

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Engineering Workstations Used as Preliminary Entry Vector in Many ICS/OT Assaults: Survey

By Eduard Kovacs on November 01, 2022


Organizations are extra assured of their capacity to detect an OT breach

Whereas the danger to industrial management techniques (ICS) and different operational know-how (OT) environments continues to be excessive, organizations are more and more assured of their capacity to detect malicious exercise, and solely a small share of organizations admit struggling a breach, in line with a survey carried out by the SANS Institute on behalf of commercial cybersecurity agency Nozomi Networks.

The 2022 OT/ICS Cybersecurity Report (PDF) relies on a survey of 332 people representing organizations of all sizes throughout each continent.

Lower than 11% of respondents mentioned that they had skilled a cyber intrusion within the final yr, down from 15% in 2021, and 24% have been assured that their techniques weren’t breached, up from 12% in 2021. Thirty-five p.c didn’t know whether or not their group’s techniques had been compromised, which continues to be a major enchancment from the 48% within the earlier yr.

Greater than half of respondents mentioned they have been assured that they might detect an intrusion inside 24 hours and over two-thirds consider they will transfer from detection to containment inside 6-24 hours.

Within the earlier report, compromised engineering workstations have been the sixth most typical preliminary assault vector, being cited by 18% of respondents. Nevertheless, consultants raised considerations on the time about weak engineering workstations and the potential influence related to compromised units.

Prior to now yr, the proportion of assaults utilizing engineering workstations as an preliminary entry vector elevated to 35%, and that is now the third most typical vector, after IT compromises and detachable media.

Nevertheless, it appears many organizations are conscious that engineering techniques — this consists of engineering workstations and instrumentation laptops — are on the best threat of getting compromised, adopted by operator and server property operating Home windows and different industrial working techniques.

“Engineering workstations have management system software program that’s used to program or change logic controllers and different discipline gadget settings or configurations. This essential asset may be a cell laptop computer — basically a transient gadget — used for engineering gadget upkeep that would journey all through facility websites or elsewhere outdoors the safety of a segmented plant community,” the report explains.

Study extra about threats to industrial organizations at

SecurityWeek’s ICS Cyber Safety Convention

Ransomware stays the highest concern, which isn’t stunning provided that industrial organizations are focused by many cybercrime teams. Roughly the identical share of respondents are additionally involved about state-sponsored cyberattacks, intently adopted by non-state assaults (hacktivism and cybercrime apart from ransomware), and provide chain and third-party dangers.

The variety of respondents that reported having an even bigger ICS/OT cybersecurity funds elevated considerably in comparison with the earlier yr and practically all organizations at the moment are conducting safety audits, monitoring OT safety, and investing in coaching and certification.

Associated: Weaponized PLCs Can Hack Engineering Workstations in Assaults on Industrial Orgs

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