ICS Vulnerability Reports Increasing And More Severe

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The number of vulnerabilities detected in industrial control systems (ICS) in the first half of 2021 showed a significant acceleration, in its 41% increase over the number of vulnerabilities detected in the first half of 2020 (637 vs. 449). Of these vulnerabilities, 71% were classified as “high or critical,” and 90% had “low attack complexity,” meaning that they do not require special conditions and can easily be repeated by a hacker.

Industrial cybersecurity firm Claroty has published a report on the state of vulnerabilities in ICS in the first half of 2021, and the data show several important issues that should put any company with an ICS system on high alert.

In addition, 74% of the vulnerabilities do not require privileges to run, 66% do not require user interaction, 61% are remotely exploitable, 65% can lead to total denial of service access, and 26% have either zero or only partial fixes.

2021 was a big year for ICS and OT security said primary report author and Claroty security researcher Chen Fradkin.

Major attacks such as those on JBS, Colonial Pipeline and the Oldsmar, Florida water treatment plant have shown that “not only were there the obvious impacts to system availability and service delivery but the state of resilience among industrial enterprises was exposed,” said Fradkin.

Claroty urges action in two areas: network segmentation and remote access protection.

Networks need to be segmented and configured to allow easy remote management. Each segmented zone should have specific policies for the machines on it, and IT should reserve the right to review all traffic, especially on OT-specific protocols, Claroty said.

About securing remote connections, Claroty urges companies to keep VPNs up to date, monitor remote connections, especially to ICS and OT networks, introduce granular permissions and admin controls, and make the use of multifactor authentication mandatory.

For more information, read the original story in TechRepublic.

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