Malicious actors are increasingly launching digital attacks against industrial organizations. Many of these campaigns have been successful, particularly those that have targeted energy utilities and manufacturing plants. In late spring 2019, for instance, aircraft parts manufacturer ASCO temporarily suspended operations worldwide after falling victim to a ransomware attack.

It was about a month later when City Power, one of the largest electricity suppliers to Johannesburg, suffered a ransomware attack, causing some residents to lose power. News of this incident arrived several months before the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd confirmed a ransomware infection on the network of the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant.

These attacks raise an important question: what are industrial organizations doing to protect themselves against digital threats?

To find out, Tripwire commissioned Dimensional Research to survey 263 qualified professionals who were directly responsible for the security of industrial control systems (ICS) at an energy, manufacturing, chemical or other industrial organization. These professionals’ responses reveal the extent to which concern over ICS security threats corresponds with their employer’s level of security preparedness. It also highlights certain areas where industrial organizations can improve their security defenses going forward.

Widespread Concern among ICS Security Professionals

A majority (88 percent) of ICS security professionals said they’re concerned about the threat of their organization falling victim to a digital attack. The level of concern was slightly lower among those in the automotive and transportation industry at 82 percent. However, it was near-unanimous in the energy, oil and gas sector at 97 percent.

When asked to clarify their concerns, 93 percent of survey respondents told Dimensional Research that they’re at least somewhat concerned by the potential for operational shutdowns and downtime. Survey participants said that a successful attack against their organization could produce even more serious consequences, however; two-thirds said that a (Read more...)