Cybersecurity: Vulnerability Identification and Remediation


CybersecurityCyber threats continue to be a growing, global problem.  In order to ensure our economic prosperity, safeguard personal privacy, and protect our critical infrastructure, we need to address cybersecurity and understand that it is a major threat to our nation. Critical infrastructure provides energy, water, transportation, financial services, and other capabilities that support our daily lives.

Though technological solutions continue to improve, we continue to see an increase in cyber crime and billions in theft.  It is important to note cyber crime may be a method of fundraising that helps fuel terrorist activities across the globe.  With a surge in terrorist activity across the globe, there’s no better time than no to take a look at cybersecurity.  By minimizing vulnerabilities in private and public infrastructures, we can significantly reduce the amount of financial resources criminals have at their fingertips.

With the average time to detect an attack ranging from hundreds of days to nearly 3,000 days and phishing attacks increasing in frequency and effectiveness, it is imperative we take an alternative approach to cybersecurity that focuses heavily on vulnerability identification and remediation.

HSFA will be releasing a white paper soon that highlights our overview of the modern cybersecurity landscape and how cloud technology, virtualization and/or real time simulations can significantly enhance cyber attack countermeasures in public and private infrastructures.

As HSFA nears publication of this white paper, we’re soliciting input from industry experts and solution providers in the cybsersecurity marketplace.  This upcoming white paper will offer next steps on developing standards for moving forward to a more secure global technical infrastructure and it is our hope that companies in this market space will proactively offer their support in developing these future requirements.


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Cyber Threat Source Descriptions

Cyber threats to a control system refer to persons who attempt unauthorized access to a control system device and/or network using a data communications pathway. This access can be directed from within an organization by trusted users or from remote locations by unknown persons using the Internet. Threats to control systems can come from numerous sources, including hostile governments, terrorist groups, disgruntled employees, and malicious intruders. To protect against these threats, it is necessary to create a secure cyber-barrier around the Industrial Control System (ICS). Though other threats exist, including natural disasters, environmental, mechanical failure, and inadvertent actions of an authorized user, this discussion will focus on the deliberate threats mentioned above.

For the purpose of this discussion, deliberate threats will be categorized consistent with the remarks in the Statement for the Record to the Joint Economic Committee by Lawrence K. Gershwin, the Central Intelligence Agency’s National Intelligence Officer for Science and Technology, 21 June 2001. These include: national governments, terrorists, industrial spies, organized crime groups, hacktivists, and hackers. Activities could include espionage, hacking, identity theft, crime, and terrorism.

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