DeepSec2020 Press Release: Industrial control systems put to the test. DeepSec conference organizes forum for the protection of Industrial Control Systems (ICS)
When one talks about digitization, one usually means networked control and measurement systems. The associated technical term Industrial Control Systems (ICS) covers a wide area and extends into Industry 4.0, in which information security plays a very important role. The right design and secure code thus become part of critical infrastructure. This year’s DeepSec security conference offers a forum for the first time — the ICS Village — in which developers and security experts can exchange ideas and experience. The stated goal is to design control systems securely, to implement them robustly, to test them properly, and to protect these systems appropriately.
Servant spirits of the infrastructure
Control systems and automated process control normally lead an invisible existence. Production lines, building management, lighting control, traffic systems, industrial plants or power supply are indispensable parts of the operational business. If everything works, all you can see is production and the results. Only when malfunctions occur do you see the key role played by these technologies. The COVID-19 pandemic in particular has shown that processes in companies and organizations have to work even in exceptional situations. Since ICS can consist of thousands of components, there are many potential sources of error. It is important to keep an overview, to test very well and to develop systems that have to reliably prevent damage in exceptional situations.
Digitization has long found its way into this area. For a long time now, all data from a system have been brought together centrally and digitally in control centres. Modern hardware and software is used. And it doesn’t work without networking. However, it is not possible to introduce any arbitrary changes, quickly adapt or replace existing interfaces, since systems in this area must be designed for operation over several decades. There are clear standards for the interacting systems in order to steer the integration in a clear direction.