Cyber threats against industrial control systems began rising in 2020
Source: Middle East Insurance Review | Jun 2021
Cyber threats against industrial control systems are again on the rise according to a new report by cyber security firm Kaspersky.
The report has revealed that globally 33.4% of industrial control system computers (ICS) were attacked in the second half of 2020.
Of the industries examined, building automation had the highest number of ICS computers attacked at 46.7%, an increase of nearly 7%. Oil and gas at 44% registered an increase of 6.2% from the first half of 2020. Engineering and ICS integration at 39.3% increased by nearly 8% over the first half of 2020.
Overall, the percentage of ICS computers attacked increased in 62% of the countries that were a part of the study. The increase was recorded across all five industries studied.
The research found that while the percentage of ICS computers on which malicious objects were blocked had declined since the second half of 2019, the number again started to rise in the second half of 2020.
The variety of malware families used against ICS systems increased by 30% in the second half of 2020 as compared to the first half of the year. The most prominent threats were backdoors (dangerous trojans that gain remote control over the infected device), spyware (malicious programmes designed to steal data), other types of trojans and malicious scripts and documents.
The research found that the number of attacks significantly increased in developed countries such as the US and Western Europe. This is because amid the current economic downturn, criminals felt these places had businesses with the means to actually pay.
Attacks against industrial organisations always carry the potential to be particularly devastating, both in terms of disruption to production and financial losses. Also because of the highly sensitive information industrial organisations possess, they tend to be an attractive target for attackers. M