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What Is A Good Practice For Cyber Physical Security?

Cyber Physical security

What is Cyber Physical Security?

Cyber Physical security is the protection of personnel, hardware, software, networks, and data from physical actions and events that, if attempted, could cause severe loss or damage to the organization. The goal of physical cyber security studies is to minimize the risk of problems that may occur. It is necessary to study and research the scope of problems from simple physical access to advanced standards.

As we look at the evolution of technology, cyberattacks have become even more prevalent with the increased use of the Internet. You too may have been exposed to these attacks. Even if you don’t realize it, you can tell you’ve been the victim of a cyberattack when the bank you use calls you and asks you questions about your suspicious transaction.

Many cyberattacks are about grabbing personal information such as credit card numbers, bank accounts, and Social Security numbers. Other targets of cyberattacks include industrial control systems, cyber-physical security systems, power grids, building control systems, and infrastructure control systems, such as a structure that forms the backbone of systems carried out in response to physical attacks. Most firms or individuals do not know much about attacks on personal and financial data. All of these attacks pose a great risk to everyone.

In order for infrastructure control systems to be measurable, you must connect them to the network or the Internet. These systems allow for better control and have many benefits such as analysis, optimization, efficiency, measurement, and manageability. However, the weakness of these systems is that they have become an open target for cyberattacks. This situation threatens the reliability of all other infrastructure control systems. A high standard of physical cybersecurity minimizes any risks that may occur.

Physical Cyberattack Scenarios

The easiest way to assess physical cyberattack scenarios is to put yourself in the shoes of a cyber attacker. To do this, you need to ask yourself a few questions.

  • What motivates the attackers?
  • Why do they do what they do?
  • What kind of opinion do they have?
  • When are they thinking about attacking?
  • The forces that provoked the attackers?

Almost all of these attackers are curious and perpetuate these attacks to see what they will find out. We can classify the people who carried out the cyberattacks as follows.

  • Causing chaos
  • Obtaining financial and personal information.
  • Causing physical damage.
  • State-sponsored cybercrime perpetrators

Because of the easily accessible information and codes on the Internet, the attacker does not need a great deal of technical knowledge and skills, which makes his job easier. Even someone who can easily access the tools available on the Internet does a cyber attack. Anyone who does not even have programming skills makes a physical cyber attack.

The Weakness of the Cybersecurity System

It would be more correct to evaluate cyber attacks that will occur on a structure with different scenarios. In recent years, there have been attacks on the system of a facility.

In this attack, a small program has settled on many cameras and recording devices connected to the Internet. All these programs were triggered to send messages to one Internet site at the same time, confusing Internet sites. A similar scenario can be used to create an entrance gate and connect to the administrator’s system, taking advantage of the weakness of a building’s physical cybersecurity system.  He used this scenario to gain access to the credit card system of a large retail store; it turned out that the attackers did this by using the authorization of a subcontractor to log into the company’s ordering system.

Another scenario is that the control of the system penetrates the control structure and overrides it. Consider what these and similar scenarios can lead to in a building, and what damage they can cause.

Mechanical Damage

Attacks that cause mechanical damage in physical attacks can have devastating consequences. For example, imagine that a cyberattack occurs that constantly turns a device on and off or increases the decimal value of a device as far out of operating range as possible. The potential risk of impact from this type of cyber attack is directly proportional to the level of criticality of the building. For example, changing the static pressure setting in a low-rise office building may prevent the doors in the lobby from closing completely, while the consequences of changing the same setting in a hospital operating room are much greater.

Another possible scenario for a cyber-physical attack is attacks that completely cut off access to the building by penetrating the control system and deleting existing programs. This form of cyber attack is often used by cyber attackers who demand a ransom to restore access to the system. There are many different scenarios and types of attacks that can be used by cyber attackers. The most dangerous are simultaneous attacks, where a large group is unleashed on the target at the same time. The risks of potential attacks are increasing every day as technology evolves. That’s why physical cyber security must be a top priority when planning buildings, facilities, and assets.

Risks That Are Unlikely To Be A Cyber Attack

Many movies and television series have brought hackers to the screen who can easily penetrate a facility’s system and disable security infrastructure, elevators, and fire alarms. While this is not impossible, it is a risk that is highly unlikely. In general, the infrastructure and controls used by these systems are mostly thermal and mechanical. For example, many steam boiler control systems have safety devices for high temperatures and pressures that shut down the system even when software is disabled.

When designing building systems, cyber-physical security should always be at the forefront, using best design practices such as distributed control systems and hardware-integrated protection.

Protection of a building system includes protection of both cyber and physical elements. Infrastructure control systems can be adequately protected, but this protection cannot prevent an attacker from entering the building’s engine room and manually disabling the system. Therefore, one of the most important points of physical security is to ensure that only authorized individuals have access to the mechanical and electronic plant rooms.

Best Practices For Protecting Building Control Systems

Physical Access

No matter how we lock our car or our house, the first measure to defend against cyber attacks is to physically block access. For structures, this is both physical protection and protection of access to cyber resources. Protection of the physical structure also protects the electronic and mechanical spaces. Protecting cyber access to data rooms, servers, etc. is restricting access to places.

IT administrators restrict access to these areas and are responsible for protecting other devices in the cabin.

Password Verification

One of the biggest security holes in any system is getting into my site by simply entering a username and password. In order not to forget, simple usernames and passwords create a security hole. Usernames and passwords should be determined by IT administrators in such a way that they cannot be easily found by others. In addition, it is important for security that this information is changed regularly within certain periods. Performing user account information and identity checks with IT systems is the right approach to account security and physical cybersecurity. Most control systems support advanced, industry-standard password management systems such as LDAP and Active Directory, making user account management simple and secure. Proper installation and configuration of sites with similar infrastructure is the most important step for physical cybersecurity.

Use of a VLAN

One of the most important steps that the company will take to ensure the security of the system infrastructure is to protect the system when users connect to the network.  Network security The network and authorization protocol available to guests from outside the building, not just when employees are working in the building, is important for information security. One of the best applications for a corporate network is the use of a “Virtual Local Area Network – VLAN”. Many VLANs allow only one approved device to connect to the network. VLAN installation and management typically require a professional IT staff member. Although the VLAN does not provide perfect protection, it visibly helps protect a control system from access by cyber attackers.

Firewalls and Network Protection

Connecting building infrastructure control systems to the Internet provides many benefits to the system as well as collecting data for system analysis and improvement. However, connecting the system to the Internet presents a potential vulnerability to physical cybersecurity. Therefore, IT administrators should keep the firewall open when the entire system is connected to the Internet. Many companies that provide enterprise IT and network security services have firewall products. For any system connected to the Internet, a firewall is an important element.

Identifying The Attack and Responding To it

Ultimately, the best course of action is to recognize that a cyberattack has occurred and plan well how to respond. The most important point in detecting attacks is to actively manage the network and review network traffic to determine if an abnormal or different situation exists. IT professionals can better analyze unusual situations on the network, manage the network against attacks, and intervene in the situation.

Future Studies

The studies carried out by the companies for the future are for the better protection of their systems. This will create resources for research and development on this topic today and for years to come. Future work will point everyone in the right direction for cyber-physical security.

Update To Open Communication Standards

Open control protocols facilitate the exchange of information between control elements.
Many of the control protocols, such as BACnet, Modbus, and LonWorks, were developed under the assumption that they operate in a closed control network. For this reason, there is very little network security content and encryption methods in the code content.

However, for many years, control networks have been designed to use both private and public networks. Such a situation creates an environment where a cyber attacker can gain access to the network, view network communications, issue valid commands, and even read and write information.

One of the solutions to these problems should be to establish standards for network security. These standards should include the encryption of data circulating on the network and the development of a method for using only secure commands.

The methods that contribute to the success of secure network communications are well defined in the systems of certain institutions. For example, when you transfer money online from your bank account to another account, the data is encrypted with the secure network. This process is one of the methods of physical cybersecurity.

There are some methods to create and verify digital identity. In 2010, BACnet made an update and added an optional method for network security to its content. This method relates to authentication and data protection. However, very few of the BACnet products on the market support this option.

The BACnet Board of Directors continues to work on security options using the latest technologies. In addition, BACnet is preparing to offer an advanced security option called Secure Connection for general evaluation.

Research on Cyber Physical Security

The issue of physical cybersecurity is highly variable. And it is being shaped by new trending technologies. In order for companies to succeed in this field, they must constantly conduct tests and studies. There is a large-scale research plan that supports the work done. Specialists in the laboratories of some states and universities perform these studies.

Below we have compiled some of the studies conducted in this field:

Security Frameworks

The first step in ensuring physical cybersecurity is to conduct various research and studies to develop frameworks that each department will agree upon to assess and protect existing systems.

Assessment and Detection Tools

To ensure physical security, it is critical that each system and network employ tools to protect against incoming physical cybersecurity threats, as well as tools to detect threats. You may think that locking your front door against theft is enough. However, the security infrastructure is there to detect an attempted intrusion and notify you. There are tools that can scan the system and network for possible problems. These tools accurately analyze network traffic to determine if an attack is imminent.

New Security Methods

The method of protection also varies depending on the characteristics of the device connected to a network. One of the new security methods is “blockchain.” Blockchain was first used for the accounting system of Bitcoin, a cryptocurrency. The blockchain serves as a large ledger that contains a description of Bitcoin transactions.

Supervised Security Services

many providers are offering supervised security services for secure access to control networks and network protection. As new solutions and standards change, interest in this type of service will increase.

We have compiled for you some points that you should pay attention to for systems to create physical cyber security.

  • There is Always a Risk. Some malicious people want to cause trouble. They can cause damage when they penetrate the system infrastructure.
  • To improve the efficiency of protection tools, it is necessary to balance physical system security well. Using a protective agent that reduces efficiency is an unplanned step.
  • Follow the latest best practices. Ensure physical security is provided in mechanical environments. It is important to keep unused system accounts locked. Use username and password applications. Get assistance from your IT department or a knowledgeable professional to use tools such as VLAN, VPN and firewalls more efficiently.
  • Support standards related to physical cybersecurity and work in this area. Regardless of how many solutions building owners facing a cyber threat request, the work done will become a reality.

DOE (Department of Energy) Research in Cyber-Physical Security

It will analyze the risk of cyber-physical attacks and help in the search for new technologies, new tools, and the development of reliable building control systems.
This study, conducted at the National Laboratory of the Pacific Northwest (PNNL), examines tools to assess organizations’ security infrastructure and control systems. These tools include online surveys that are easy to use and provide immediate feedback.

Conclusion

Due to the constantly changing conditions and environmental influences, the threat points are also changing. As a result, the physical cyber security measures taken against them are also changing. With the development of technology, the threat risks have increased significantly. It has now become mandatory for the government to take some measures in this regard. Some companies take a very specific number of security measures to ensure security. Similarly, people should also be aware of their security.

Physical cyber security has become increasingly important. But, unfortunately, most firms do not pay attention to this issue. Two factors can affect the physical security of data. First, natural disasters such as fires and floods can lead to permanent data loss. The second factor is malicious attacks such as terrorism and theft. All systems are at risk from various cyber and physical security threats.

Antivirus software used for cyber physical security has also improved a lot in recent years. At this point, we have prepared an article on Does Norton Protect From Hackers?. We would recommend that you read.

We also recommend that you read our article on Can You Charge A Macbook With A Cell Phone Charger? if you have not read our previous article. If you have any questions, you can write to us in the contact section.

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