ICS Protocols


ICS stands for Industrial Control Systems. ICS is a generic term used to describe various control systems and their instrumentation, used for controlling and monitoring industrial processes. ICS basically integrates hardware, software and their network connectivity for running and supporting critical infrastructure. ICS systems get data from remote sensors and send commands to the machinery for the appropriate actions to take. 

For example, ICS systems may get data from remote sensors to check whether a particular piece of machinery is overheating. If it is, then it may send commands to the machinery to shut down. Thus, ICS systems ensure industrial operations run smoothly and give the operator an easy way to monitor, control and manage industrial processes remotely.

AppSec/API Security 2022

Components of ICS

A typical ICS system is made up of the following components:

  1. Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA)
  2. Industrial Automation and Control Systems (IACS)
  3. Human Machine Interface (HMI)
  4. Distributed Control Systems (DCS)
  5. Control Servers
  6. Programmable Automation Controllers (PAC)
  7. Programmable Logic Controllers (PLC)
  8. Intelligent Electronic Devices (IED)
  9. Sensors.
  10. Remote Terminal Units (RTU)

Note: The termsICS” and “SCADA” are used interchangeably in media. This is misleading and inaccurate. SCADA is a small component of ICS.

IT versus ICS

IT systems basically focuses on the development, maintenance and use of computer systems, software and networks for the processing and sharing of data. On the other hand, ICS systems focus more on detecting, monitoring and controlling physical equipment and processes using sensors, actuators, controllers, PLC (Programmable Logic Controllers), PCD (Process Control Dynamics), BAS (Building Automation System) and more. Thus, IT and ICS systems are altogether different and pose their own challenges in terms of maintenance, security and operations.

Communication protocols used in ICS systems

As described above, due to ICS being different from IT systems (Read more...)

*** This is a Security Bloggers Network syndicated blog from Infosec Resources authored by Nitesh Malviya. Read the original post at: