Favorite Target of Ransomware Attacks: ICS Networks

Favorite Target of Ransomware Attacks: ICS Networks

Jul 18, 2021 / Kron

Ransomware attacks on ICS networks have significantly increased throughout the last year and become even a greater threat for the worldwide industrial systems. A study on the threats targeting ICS endpoints indicates the damages caused by ransomware attacks in terms of ICS network security.

What are the ICS Networks?

Basically, Industrial Control Systems (ICS) are used to manage and control industrial processes. ICS is defined as a general concept consisting of various IT systems such as SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition), DCS (Distributed Control Systems), and PLC (Programmable Logic Controllers).

Unlike traditional information systems, ICS is utilized to manage physical processes instead of data. That is exactly why ICS, also named cyber-physical systems, have a wide variety of use scenarios. The system is commonly preferred in the petroleum and natural gas industry, energy transmission grids, production, smart buildings, and smart cities.

In order to prevent downtime in services provided by ICS networks, such as community-wide water, electricity, and fuel resource distribution, these networks should be protected against various types of cyberattacks. Indeed, industrial organizations continue to search for successful data security solutions in order to protect their ICS networks.

Based on the report issued in 2020 regarding the threats targeting the ICS endpoints, the recent ransomware attacks target the ICS networks in operational environments and production facilities for financial gain. The same report indicates that hackers prefer Ryuk, Nefilm, Revil, and LockBit ransomware families to damage ICS networks.

On the other hand, the report suggests that the countries suffering the most from ransomware attacks on ICS networks are the USA, India, Taiwan, and Spain.

Cyber Security Solutions and ICS

Privileged Access Management (PAM) is one of the ideal methods to protect your company against any data breaches in your ICS networks. You should know that the successful ransomware attacks on ICS networks utilize privileged accounts to infiltrate the system and damage it covertly.

This is where Privileged Access Management (PAM) steps in. PAM successfully ensures the control of what is accessible by which users and which actions the access rights include within a business. In other words, thanks to Privileged Access Management, access to critical systems is limited to the users who need access to such systems. Therefore, the privileged users' operations are kept under control.

With this method, the security vulnerabilities that may occur due to the nature of ICS networks are prevented without harming your company, by ensuring comprehensive access security.

With this in mind, the added value of an enhanced PAM solution to ICS networks in terms of a cyber attack is undeniable. The inherent features of a Privileged Access Management solution will be significantly successful in terms of protecting ICS networks. The fundamental advantages provided by PAM solutions to companies, government agencies, and similar security teams are as follows:

  • Full visibility and full control
  • Managing and recording all user activities
  • Isolating the critical systems from the general network
  • Cloud platform support
  • Role-based access control
  • Real-time prevention
  • Enhanced network automation for safety
  • Integrated User Behavior Analytics (UBA) and OCR
  • Fastest deployment
  • Least privilege
  • Password vault
  • Comprehensive protocol support for various industries
  • Access to tens of thousands of end points via one server (Scalability)

Modular-Based Added Value Offered by Single Connect to ISC Networks

Our PAM solution Single Connect, improved year by year thanks to our experienced teams and their efficient R&D processes at Kron, offers added value to the security of ICS networks in different aspects with its modular structure. Therefore, it will be more beneficial to follow a modular-based review in order to reveal how Single Connect ensures the access security of industrial processes in detail:

  • Privileged Session Manager: Controlling and managing all access authorizations on ICS networks, the Privileged Session Manager module prevents complexity regarding access security and clears the picture for all of your employees.
  • Dynamic Password Controller: This module offers an ICS infrastructure that is completely password protected. This in turn ensures that all privileged sessions are completely verified. Therefore, the infiltration attempts to the industrial network are successfully prevented. Furthermore, our Dynamic Password Controller module preserves the privileged account passwords in vaults thanks to its password vault feature. Isolating the passwords from the network structure, the password vault prevents passwords from being shared and falling into the wrong people's hands.
  • Database Access Manager: This module works as a gateway between the users in ICS networks and the destination databases. Thanks to the man-in-the-middle approach, Database Access Manager does not require software agent deployment to the destination endpoints of the module. Ensuring a high level of deployment speed, this approach does not affect the end-user experience. In addition, Database Access Manager verifies the identities of the privileged accounts through the company's established index service and ensures that the whole session goes through its own control. Therefore, the statistics including indexed logs, audit trails, and privileged user operations can be constantly monitored.

Recognized in the Magic Quadrant 2020 report issued by Gartner as one of the best PAM solutions, Single Connect offers significant added value to business continuity by protecting companies against cyberattacks that may threaten ICS network security and ensuring data security.

You can contact us to learn more about our PAM solution Single Connect and visit Kron Blog to read more cybersecurity content.

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