The fourth industrial revolution brings with it a revolution in crime

Nov 17, 2020

While Industry 4.0 introduces radical changes to every work environment, the lynchpin of the fourth industrial revolution is the amount and quality of information available. The spread of sensors across work sites allows the gathering of detailed data about every aspect of operations. This data, in turn, allows the creation of extremely sophisticated models and measurements. The potential benefits of machine learning, predictive manufacturing, and data-driven business decisions continue to be explored and developed in new and revolutionary ways.


However, these revolutions in technology have also created a revolution in crime: ransomware specifically designed to target ICS. LockerGoga is one example of successful ransomware, though LockerGoga incidents have an interesting wrinkle – through what was most likely an error in its creation, it was impossible to communicate with the attackers in order to pay them. Unfortunately, other aspects of the malware’s design were more successful, allowing it to propagate wildly and create expensive system lock-ups like the one at Norsk Hydro. Norsk Hydro’s company leadership managed the attack with dignity and stoicism, creating post-attack strategies that will be seen as a model of good governance in the wake of compromised systems for a long time to come, but they were still unable to avoid approximately $60 million USD in damages.


Security solutions in this day and age must be able to work with the industrial protocols of OT equipment, must be able to protect legacy or unpatched assets from the efforts of attackers, and must be able to support computers that cannot accept installation or modification due to warranties or regulations. This, in turn, requires the support of a team of threat researchers that has to be attentive to changes in the threat landscape at all times, because new kinds of attacks develop and emerge so quickly.


This is why TXOne Networks’ team of specialized researchers have developed IPS and firewall systems like the EdgeIPS and EdgeFire, which were tailored to the operational focus of OT work sites and which are capable of accommodating 50+ industrial protocols. For unpatched and legacy systems, Safe Lock provides a trust list that stops malware from executing. Finally, for sensitive systems which cannot accept installation or modification, Trend Micro Portable Security 3 provides easy-operation, installation-free plug-and-scan technology that any teammate can operate.

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