As the world becomes increasingly interconnected, computer networks are being relied on more and more to control critical infrastructure. However, these networks are also becoming increasingly vulnerable to security risks. In this article, we’ll explore some of the most common security risks associated with industrial computer networks and what can be done to mitigate them. Keep reading to learn more.

What are industrial computer networks?

Computer networks are used extensively in industrial environments. Industrial computer networks manage and control critical infrastructures, such as water treatment plants, power grids, hospitals, and more. These systems are vulnerable to attack because they are connected to the internet and often have weak security controls. Cyber attackers can exploit vulnerabilities in these systems to disrupt operations or gain access to sensitive data.

These computer networks are typically composed of a variety of industrial PCs and devices, including controllers, human-machine interfaces (HMIs), programmable logic controllers (PLCs), and drives. These devices are interconnected using a variety of communication protocols, including industrial Ethernet, Modbus TCP/IP, Profibus DP, and Foundation Fieldbus.

How are industrial networks vulnerable to cyber attacks?

Computer networks that are used in industrial control systems (ICS) are susceptible to cyber threats. These networks are used to manage and monitor physical processes such as water treatment, oil drilling, and power generation. They also support a variety of critical infrastructures such as transportation, communication, emergency services, and even hospital operating rooms.

Industrial PC networks are also susceptible to denial-of-service attacks. An attacker can flood the network with traffic or launch an SYN flood attack that overwhelms the system with connection requests. This can disrupt operations or cause equipment damage.

Attackers can also steal data from industrial computer networks. They can capture traffic passing over the network or hack into devices and extract data stored on them. This information can be used for corporate espionage or sabotage purposes

The potential consequences of a successful cyber attack on an ICS can be very serious. For example, an attacker could take control of the networked systems and cause them to malfunction or even destroy them. This could lead to a loss of life or property or even a national security threat.

What are the best strategies for strengthening the security of an industrial network?

img

 

To protect these systems from cyber attacks, it is important to secure industrial PC networks against the most common threats. Here are some of the best ways to protect an industrial network:

  • Identification and Authentication: Users should be identified and authenticated before they are allowed access to the network. This can be done using usernames and passwords or by using a more sophisticated authentication system such as biometrics.
  • Firewalls: A firewall can be used to restrict access to the network from unauthorized users. The firewall can also be used to protect the network from malicious traffic coming from outside the network.
  • Antivirus Software: Antivirus software should be installed on all computers on the network to protect them from malware infections.
  • Security Updates: Security updates should be installed on all computers on the network to protect them from vulnerabilities that have been discovered in Windows and other software applications.
  • Network Segmentation: The network should be divided into separate segments, with each segment serving a specific purpose. This will help minimize the impact of a security breach if it does occur.

Additionally, employees should be trained in how to recognize and report suspicious activity to a technical support team. It is also important to keep the software on these systems up to date with the latest security patches. By taking these precautions, organizations can help reduce the risk of a devastating cyber attack on their industrial computer networks

Overall, security risks associated with industrial computer networks are a major concern. These networks are vulnerable to malware, ransomware, and other cyber attacks. The consequences of a successful attack can be disastrous, leading to loss of life, property, and economic damage.

Author

Rethinking The Future (RTF) is a Global Platform for Architecture and Design. RTF through more than 100 countries around the world provides an interactive platform of highest standard acknowledging the projects among creative and influential industry professionals.

Write A Comment