The cyber threat is real, current and escalating, casting public and government networks around the globe as the battleground of this, the information age.
The Pentagon, Sony, Target and Ashley Madison are just the tip of an iceberg of hacks and attacks but the onslaught is relentless; day upon day, week after week. In 2015 90% of large organisations suffered a data breach and 160 million customer records were compromised in cyber-crimes.
For individuals, businesses and governments this threat level won’t decline anytime soon. We live in ‘on demand’ times and unsecured public networks are the open highways for information, transactions and communications.
The data-flow can’t be halted because it’s as invaluable to trade and day-to-day existence as it is irresistible to an army of hacktivists, state sponsored terrorists, cyber criminals and lone wolves intent on disruption and extortion.
But as clear and present as the danger is, the cyber battle is far from lost.
Advances in information technology and the sharing economy are in danger of outpacing the security needed to protect our most sensitive or valuable information.
The solution is as simple as it is elusive; secure communications. A response is needed which will protect from exploitation without inhibiting the availability of vital data. To be open to authorised parties and intended eyes, yet be absolutely protected from malicious or criminal intent.
Data encryption, the process of encoding messages so that only intended parties can see them, is the answer. And with long standing relationships with UK Government agencies and commercial service providers, L3 TRL is uniquely equipped and experienced to provide solutions in this safety critical arena.
The 2016 Data Breach Digest highlights an attack by a known hacktivist group on safety related chemical treatment within an unnamed water treatment and distribution company serving millions of customers.
Vulnerabilities in such utilities and Critical National Infrastructures from energy generation and grids to oil, gas, water supply and health, are being exposed by groups with significant capabilities and intent.
The security of Industrial Automation and Control Systems (IACS) hasn’t been taken seriously enough by regulators or industry and with legacy equipment, incompatibilities and the increasing adoption of cloud services and Internet-of-things sensor systems, the issue grows deeper and wider.
Standard Information Technology (IT) security methods are not the answer. Patching is an effective way to update systems based only on detected vulnerabilities and can often lead to downtime, system crashes or Data corruption.
Focussing on an Operational Technology (OT) approach, L3 TRL is utilising their expertise of high assurance products from our government grade product range to provide innovative data guards which deliver resilient, next generation hardware security for IACS.