Radiflow, a leading provider of industrial cybersecurity solutions for critical infrastructure, has announced that the company is presenting a new approach for classifying the attack characteristics and assessing attack vulnerabilities on OT networks in a recently published whitepaper titled Meet Your Attacker: SCADA Attackers Taxonomy and Analysis .
In the company’s new whitepaper, Radiflow explains that while the reporting on cybersecurity incidents and attack campaigns on is on the rise, each reporting organisation uses a different analysis methodology.
For example, the cyberattack in the power grid in Ukraine in 2015 was covered by over 30 research centres around the world with each using its own methodology and publishing biased conclusions influenced by the researcher’s knowledge and the organisation’s point of view.
“The increase in the number of reports, each with different analysis methodology, makes it challenging for security analysts to derive coherent and clear conclusions from the cases,” explains Yehonatan Kfir, CTO of Radiflow and the author of this whitepaper. “The current lack of a single taxonomy to analyse security incidents leads to difficulties in understanding the threat landscape in an unbiased way.”
In the whitepaper, Radiflow analyses several highly publicised cybersecurity incidents over the past ten years, including the Triton and the Ukraine electricity blackout cases, and puts forward a new evidence-based taxonomy for classifying and analysing the impact of each on OT networks.
“We believe our new taxonomy and case analysis provides a clearer model for understanding cyberattacks on SCADA systems,” added Kfir. “Our new taxonomy gives risk managers a coherent framework for analysing the different types of attackers and allows them to plan their security defences according to the attacker models that are relevant for their specific organisations.”
According to Radiflow, the next evolutional step in risk analysis for critical infrastructure operators and industrial enterprises is dynamically determining the impact of disclosed vulnerabilities. The company advocates that this should be done based on the context of the organisation’s OT network and business logic related to the relevant attacker models.
“Here too there are issues with the existing methods as the two major vulnerability disclosure organisations – NIST and ICS-CERT – use scoring standards for the risk assessment of disclosed vulnerabilities with a bias towards IT networks, specifically the potential of a vulnerability to compromise sensitive data and cause non-compliance with regulations,” stated Kfir.
“Even though these two organisations do not always agree on the impact of a disclosed vulnerability, this framework is clearly a good fit for corporate IT networks, although is not always applicable to the context of industrial environments and the SCADA and ICS systems running on OT networks.”
For more information on Radiflow’s new approach to classifying and assessing attack vulnerabilities on OT networks, please download the company’s new whitepaper titled Meet Your Attacker: SCADA Attackers Taxonomy and Analysis.