Incidence of cyber-attack/intrusion, whether intentional or accidental, has increased dramatically over the past several years. Preserving the integrity of the water industry is essential to mitigate risks associated with Business Continuity, Public Safety, National Security and the U.S. Economy.
Water companies strive to achieve "Real-time Business Intelligence" as a competitive advantage. Corporate IT infrastructure, Business Applications and Real-time operation systems (SCADA and Process Control Systems) are converging. Accompanying the convergence of this infrastructure is increased threat of cyber-incidences within the SCADA and Process Control environments.
The SCADA and Process Control Security challenge must be evaluated based upon whether the objective is to secure existing legacy installations or future new system installations. With the rapid industrial expansion in the 1980's & 1990's many of the existing legacy installations were not designed with security in mind. Driven by the desire for interoperability and real-time business intelligence these legacy installations have become much more integrated with corporate IT networks and the business application layers.
Preserving the high availability and reliability of these mission critical system installations is essential. Careful consideration should be given to the legacy nature of the environment (low network bandwidth, slower computer processing power, mission critical applications, etc) when selecting your security partner. Traditional corporate IT approaches to securing SCADA and Process Control environments run the risk of adversely impacting system availability and reliability, as they were not designed to operate in this constrained, mission critical environment.