More than 70 percent of industrial control system (ICS) vulnerabilities disclosed in the first half (1H) of 2020 can be exploited remotely, highlighting the importance of protecting internet-facing ICS devices and remote access connections. This is according to the inaugural Biannual ICS Risk & Vulnerability Report, released by Claroty.
“There is a heightened awareness of the risks posed by ICS vulnerabilities and a sharpened focus among researchers and vendors to identify and remediate these vulnerabilities as effectively and efficiently as possible,” said Amir Preminger, VP of Research at Claroty.
“We recognised the critical need to understand, evaluate, and report on the comprehensive ICS risk and vulnerability landscape to benefit the entire OT security community. Our findings show how important it is for organisations to protect remote access connections and internet-facing ICS devices, and to protect against phishing, spam, and ransomware, in order to minimise and mitigate the potential impacts of these threats.”
Prominence of RCE Vulnerabilities Highlights Need to Protect Internet-Facing ICS Devices
According to the report, more than 70 percent of the vulnerabilities published by the NVD can be exploited remotely, reinforcing the fact that fully air-gapped ICS networks that are isolated from cyber threats have become vastly uncommon.
Additionally, the most common potential impact was remote code execution (RCE), possible with 49 percent of vulnerabilities – reflecting its prominence as the leading area of focus within the OT security research community – followed by the ability to read application data (41 percent), cause denial of service (DoS) (39 percent), and bypass protection mechanisms (37 percent). The prominence of remote exploitation has been exacerbated by the rapid global shift to a remote workforce and the increased reliance on remote access to ICS networks in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Vulnerabilities in Energy, Critical Manufacturing, and Water & Wastewater Sectors on the Rise
The energy, critical manufacturing, and water & wastewater infrastructure sectors were by far the most impacted by vulnerabilities published in ICS-CERT advisories during 1H 2020. Of the 385 unique Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVEs) included in the advisories, energy had 236, critical manufacturing had 197, and water & wastewater had 171. Compared to 1H 2019, water & wastewater experienced the largest increase of CVEs (122.1 percent), while critical manufacturing increased by 87.3 percent and energy by 58.9 percent.
CLICK HERE FOR LATEST NEWS.
READ CURRENT AND PAST ISSUES OF IAA.
KEEP YOURSELF UPDATED, SUBSCRIBE TO IAA NOW!