Do some Internet research on security vulnerabilities associated with SCADA...
Answer explained below
SCADA stands for Supervisor Control and Data Acquisition. It is Industrial control system that uses computers,network devices,graphical user interfaces and other devices such as PLC(Programmable logic controllers) for supervising and controlling industial processes located remotely.
Scada systems are being implemented on a large in various industrial sectors such as petrochemical industries,nuclear power plants,waste water treatment plants,pharmacuetical industries,food and beverage industries etc.
Scada uses various communication and network devices along with various hardware and software components to manage and control the real time processing of the industrial plants.
Although is a very reliable and robust system but its huge network and distributed nature makes it vulnerable to various cyber attacks. The cyber attacks on the Scada system can pose a threat to the industrial and the software environment along with the human race.Since Scada manages many major nuclear plants and petrochemical plants,if anyone hacks into the scada system of these plants it can cause a major threat to complete mankind.
The following are the factors that can cause vulnerabilities in the Scada systems:
The networking of the various enterprise control systems: The remote processing takes place because of the networking of the control systems of the various enterprises.A breach in the security of the enterprise will pose a threat to the working of the control systems.
Insecurity of the remote connections: Scada uses wireless and dial up modems for carrying put the remote activities.If the encryption standards are not followed properly then there can a threat to the information being transferred.
Use of Standard technologies:To ease the working around various platforms and remote locations,the industries have started using standard technologies which means that more number of people are well aware of these technologies and ways to hack them.
Public avalaibility of technical information: The technical information reagarding all the enterprises,their design plans are avalaible to the public on their websites which makes the whole system all the more vulnerable.
How To Avoid Vulnerabilities:
There are standards like ISA99(INdustrial Automation And Control System Security) that offer various strategies and procedures for implementing the security of industrial control systems.
There are government standards and guidelines like NERC-CIP(North American Electrical Reliability Corporation-Critical Infrastructure protection) standard.
Further the industries should good and efficient encryption and authentication techniques for remote communication.
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