US Department of Energy guidelines for SCADA cyber security


Supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) networks provide essential national services such as electricity, natural gas, water, waste treatment, transportation and more. Today SCADA networks enable collection of data and analysis via internet connection, but alongside the efficiency provided by this connectivity comes the ever growing risk of cyber terrorism which can cripple essential national infrastructure such as power plants, national aviation control systems and others. To help system administrators better deal with the SCADA cyber threat, the US’s Department of Energy has published a report (it’s decade-old but it’s guidelines are still applicable), in which it lists 21 steps to maximize SCADA cyber security.

1. Identify all connections to SCADA networks.
2. Disconnect unnecessary connections to the SCADA network.
3. Evaluate and strengthen the security of any remaining connections to the SCADA network.
4. Harden SCADA networks by removing or disabling unnecessary services.
5. Do not rely on proprietary protocols to protect your system.
6. Implement the security features provided by device and system vendors.
7. Establish strong controls over any medium that is used as a backdoor into the SCADA network.
8. Implement internal and external intrusion detection systems and establish 24-hour-a-day incident monitoring.
9. Perform technical audits of SCADA devices and networks, and any other connected networks, to identify security concerns.
10. Conduct physical security surveys and assess all remote sites connected to the SCADA network to evaluate their security.
11. Establish SCADA “Red Teams” to identify and evaluate possible attack scenarios
12. Clearly define cyber security roles, responsibilities, and authorities for managers, system administrators, and users.
13. Document network architecture and identify systems that serve critical functions or contain sensitive information that require additional levels of protection.
14. Establish a rigorous, ongoing risk management process.
15. Establish a network protection strategy based on the principle of defense-in-depth.
16. Establish effective configuration management processes.
17. Early identify cyber security requirements.
18. Conduct routine self-assessments.
19. . Establish system backups and disaster recovery plans.
20. . Senior organizational leadership should establish expectations for cyber security performance and hold individuals accountable for their performance.
21. Establish policies and conduct training to minimize the likelihood that organizational personnel will inadvertently disclose sensitive information regarding SCADA system design, operations, or security controls.

Assac Netwoks SCADA cyber protection solution encompasses these very same guidelines, and have been successfully implemented by Assac Networks in SCADA networks worldwide.

For further information about Assac Networks’ SCADA cyber protection solution, please contact us.

The entire Department of Energy report can be read here:
US Department of Energy SCADA cyber security guidelines