Threat Modeling for Critical Industrial Control Systems

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Industrial Control Systems (ICS) involve the devices, systems networks, controls and instrumentation that are involved in industrial process control. Entities that utilize ICS systems include power and electric utilities, telecommunications, oil and gas processing and chemical processing. Cybercriminals may target ICS systems, infiltrate the attack surface and further compromise applications and infrastructure. As IoT systems become more pervasive within ICS, they pose an emerging threat as hackers figure out ways to infiltrate devices remotely. 

In many instances, ICS systems control critical infrastructure, such as transportation, electric and power, and telecommunications. Threats to ICS systems can cause serious damage, even dangerous disastrous outcomes. For this reason, it is of utmost importance that ICS systems have an adequate cybersecurity program in place. Case in point, unrest between the US and Iran is creating precarious conditions that not only IT infrastructure, but also human safety at risk.

US Preparing for Iranian Cyberattack

With the recent homicide of Iran’s top military leader, Qasssem Soleimani, the US military is highly concerned about what their revenge will be like. It could lead to the next American war, especially after it was reported missiles were fired at a US military base in Iraq. US companies are being targeted by Iranian hackers with specific malicious software intended to destroy the contents of their computer networks instead of stealing their data.

For years, Iran has acknowledged its position as one of the main cyber threats against the United States of America, leaving this recent attack as a major motive for a possible new cyberattack. US enterprises should get ready for a flood of digital revenge from Iran after all Trump administration cyberattacks against the Islamic Republic.

Cybersecurity Approach to Address Cyberattacks

What’s left to do for cybersecurity companies? Warn the country about the rapid pace rise of upcoming cyber attacks and their increasingly level of harshness. Cybersecurity experts and government officers are already supervising spiteful activity by pro-Iranian hackers and social media users that they think are forerunners of more severe digital attacks, including potential attempts targeted at ruining government databases.

Hackers have vandalized government websites and tracked contentious misinformation campaigns on social media in the past. Security experts are concerned about a feasible burst of social engineering challenges, aimed at bargaining the credentials of workers in U.S. businesses.

Social engineering normally entails collecting information about a target and using that data against the person. This frequently takes the form of a phishing email, which uses the personal features to persuade the beneficiary to click on a malevolent link, thus providing the transmitter entry to the prey’s records. ICS comes under threat of hackers who may employ social engineering to gain access to secured instr

Financial Institutions Become a Major Target

Bank administrators believe Iranian hackers could try to disturb financial services with denial-of-service attacks to disrupt bank websites and other digital financial services. Today, Iranian hackers are considered as the leading threats for banks and other financial institutions.

Iran has proven a larger commitment to perform devastating cyberattacks that are well ahead of the standards of state behavior in peace. Businesses in the private sector may face cyberattacks first than other industries. Cybersecurity experts are aware of the concerns major American banks are experiencing about Iranian retaliation.

An industry of private security workers has expanded to safeguard major banks and other companies from hackers. They just advised their consumers to enhance their arguments. Right now, banks are taking a tough look at Iranian threat players. Cybersecurity companies have instructed their customers in the important scenario to consider the momentous aggressive actions of Iranian attackers due to this new growth.

 How Threat Modeling Can Prevent Your Next Cyberattack

Let’s get back to ICS. With hacking growing increasingly, organizations need to find ways to proactively secure data, plus the systems and applications that process it. Threat Modeling is quite simple and normally accomplished on process flow diagrams. Through the threat models, organizations can look at the risk and comprehend their attack surface.

Threat Modeling allows cross-functional security collaboration between software development and network security key stakeholders. This collaboration makes it easy to scale threat modeling initiatives across all applications, devices, and the full operational stack of your IT environment. Eventually, organizations can improve on their cybersecurity posture by implementing security as early as the design stages.

Benefits of Threat Modeling for Secure ICS

Threat Modeling produces a number of benefits to help ICS entities improve their cybersecurity posture. By putting a number to threat instances and security controls needed, threat modeling produces measurable data. This data can help to not only inform decision makers, but also direct penetration testing efforts. Threat Modeling also helps to ensure compliance with its clear picture of an organization’s attack surface. With the right platform and approach, threat modeling will help organizations to safe on cost and effort expenditure.

Traditionally, ICS entities have found themselves lacking in the threat modeling category. They use tools such as Microsoft TMT, PowerPoint, Excel, Visio or even whiteboarding, which don’t offer the capabilities needed to scale or collaborate across large agencies. When it comes to ICS, threat modeling with these tools can get messy. Besides inadequate tools, ICS organizations may suffer from:

  • No clear-cut approach across an enterprise riddled with threats and vulnerabilities
  • Lack of security and/or threat modeling expertise
  • Lack of resources to cover the wide range of threats

ThreatModeler Can Help to Protect Your Business From Cyberattacks

ThreatModeler has created an automated platform for developers, operations and security teams to better understand their attack surface. ThreatModeler is equipped with the Threat Intelligence Framework, content that comes from threat intelligence authorities such as OWASP and CAPEC. Additionally, ThreatModeler provides components all mapped out for AWS and Azure cloud environments with security requirements based on their respective guidelines.

There are several approaches to risk management, and threat modeling is an activity that can help an organization to better understand their attack surface and defend against threats. ThreatModeler is an automated platform that can save tens to hundreds of hours off of the threat modeling process. ThreatModeler comes loaded with a Threat Intelligence Framework, which references with threats outlined by AWS, Azure, OWASP, and CAPEC.

ThreatModeler can provide ICS with a scalable visualization of the entire attack surface. It also enables for collaboration with its integration with the Jira IT ticketing and security epic backlog management. ThreatModeler also helps with compliance with its ability to hand-off completed threat models to supervisors for approval, which should lead to an improved approval and audit trail.

To learn more about ThreatModeler, we recommend scheduling a live demo. If you’d like to speak with a threat modeling expert, visit our contact page.

 

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