Latest SANS Survey Finds ICS Security Risks Reach All-Time High

By   ISBuzz Team
Writer , Information Security Buzz | Jul 06, 2017 04:30 am PST
  • 69-percent rate ICS security threats as high or severe and critical
  • 40-Percent lack visibility to know if their network has been breached
  • Unprotected devices, nation-states, ransomware ranked top threats

Nozomi Networks, the pioneer in real-time cybersecurity and operational visibility for industrial control systems (ICS), today announced ICS cybersecurity threats are growing and identifying attacks continues to be a major challenge according to the annual SANS Institute industrial control systems (ICS) survey set to be released next week. The survey, co-sponsored by Nozomi Networks and other industry leaders, finds that while there has been some progress in protecting critical assets and infrastructure, new challenges have emerged.

Four out of 10 ICS security practitioners lack visibility into their ICS networks, which is one of the primary impediments to securing these systems. Ransomware was newly identified as a top threat, along with the growing addition of devices to the network.

Despite almost daily news coverage of recent attacks on unpatched systems, SANS found that only 46% of respondents regularly apply vendor-validated patches; and 12% neither patch nor layer controls around critical control system assets.

While reliability and availability remain the highest priority for OT systems, 69% of ICS security practitioners believe threats to the ICS systems are high or severe and critical.

“The survey confirms practitioners’ intent to move beyond the basics of prevention because industrial intrusion detection tops the list of new technologies they most want to implement,” said Andrea Carcano, Nozomi Networks co-founder and renowned SCADA cybersecurity pioneer. “It’s clear ICS cybersecurity is maturing as operators recognize the likelihood of infiltration and seek early warning to improve resiliency.”

“With more and more unprotected devices making their way into operational networks, and with ransomware, hacktivism and nation state attacks on the rise, owners of critical infrastructure can no longer afford to gamble with weaknesses in ICS security,” said Nozomi Networks CEO Edgard Capdevielle. “Fortunately, CISOs are taking notice, security budgets are growing and a new generation of ICS security solutions is available to help. As an example, Nozomi Networks’ SCADAguardian was specifically designed to deliver the deep industrial network visibility and intrusion detection that survey respondents say they need. And SCADAguardian’s automated vulnerability assessment gives operators real-time access to device vulnerabilities, updates and patch requirements. As ICS experts, we understand the challenges operators face in securing their industrial networks, fortunately advances in technology are making it easier for them to reduce their risks and improve resilience.”

SANS and a group of experts, including Mr. Capdevielle, will share results of the survey during a webcast Tuesday, July 11.

Register to attend the webcast at

Sign up here to receive a copy of the full survey results and recommendations to be released on July 11.