Understanding SCADA Security Systems

The acronymSCADA stands for Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition and is a control system architecture that employs resources such as computers, network infrastructures and graphical user interfaces for advanced process supervisory management. With SCADA security solutions organizations are able to manipulate industrial processes locally or from a remote location, achieve direct contact with devices such as sensors, motors, valve, and others.

SCADA System Security

Over the years the different threats to SCADA system security have increased significantly. Some have linked the increase in the threat level to the fairly new practice of connecting SCADA networks to business networks. Some of the threats to SCADA system security include malware, insider, hacker, andterrorists just to name a few.

  • Malware

Malware is able to pose a threat to SCADA system security through a variety of avenues. The malware threat to the SCADA system security has the potential to corrupt data, overwhelm communication channels, install backdoors, or install keystroke loggers. These malware comes in a range of different types such as viruses, worms, Trojans, or spyware.

  • Insider

One of the most common threats to any organization is the insider threat, and SCADA systems are just as capable of falling prey to this threat as any organization. The insider threat that has the potential of compromising SCADA system security does not necessarily have to stem from within the SCADA organization.

  • Hacker

The technology era saw the rise to a quite a number of hackers and they are one of the most dangerous threats to any SCADA system security. Hackers are capable of probing into the SCADA system security and accessing and manipulating the data that is present. This is where efficient system security plays a crucial role because some businesses use SCADA to store their most valuable data; which if accessed by a third party might result in irreparable damage to a company.

SCADA Cyber Security

Originally SCADA systems were limited to system security because of their sole usage of traditional proprietary protocols. In recent time SCADA has switched to the use of Internet Protocol (IP) based systems, which has led to the inheritance of all of the inadequacies that come with IP and as a direct result, there is now a need for SCADA cyber security. The increase in the cyber threats possibilities has seen a rise in interest to SCADA cyber security by Federal governments and industry bodies.

 

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