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Old thinking about critical infrastructure won’t stop new risks
Developers of critical infrastructure systems never intended to build insecure operational technology (OT) systems to manage them – but that is exactly what they’ve created as utilities, manufacturers and other process-reliant companies face the challenge of protecting legacy systems that were often built on the assumption they would never be targeted by hackers. With nation-state attacks on the rise and all manner of industrial systems being connected to the Internet, quite the opposite has happened. Between 2016 and 2017 alone, the Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) reported that Australia’s Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT) dealt with 734 incidents where critical infrastructure providers and systems of national interest had been targeted in cybersecurity attacks. One incident, highlighted by the Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC), spawned warnings that up to 400 Australian businesses had been targeted by Russian state-sponsored attacks. Previous attacks have targeted power stations and an airport in the Ukraine, a nuclear power station in the US state of Kansas, and many more sites.
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