ICS/SCADA Systems for Penetration Testers: A Typical Engagement

It’s no secret that the devices that comprise process control systems are generally vulnerable to attack. This point has been made through endless research and has even been the subject of countless talks and trainings. Unfortunately, the personnel responsible for securing these networks often face significant challenges, most notably the difficulty in ensuring that devices and systems are configured securely and regularly patched without interrupting the process. In addition to this, security personnel often struggle in vain to sell the idea of security to the people in charge of the process who sometimes view security as more of an unnecessary burden, especially at lower layers of the process control network. In response to this, most of the focus has been placed on network segregation and establishing secure enclaves for sensitive process control systems. In this way, more effort can be placed on securing the barriers between the corporate network and SCADA / process control networks and enforcing tight access controls. In turn, many of the process control system assessments we’ve worked on have been almost entirely focused on determining the adequacy of network segregation efforts. In spite of the importance of properly implemented network segregation and the interest in segregation...
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