Securing the nation by securing critical information infrastructure

Industrial Control Systems, specifically the old configurations, are often deployed as isolated installations to work in standalone environments without any connection to the external network including the internet.

ICS-embedded architectures are different from other systems. Older ICS were designed on the assumptions to connect in a small internal network. The span of the internet has changed the complete picture. ICS even working on internal networks are exposed to security threats. The ICS may be running on a separate network, but physical isolation is becoming the exception. Even without direct contacts, the security of the ICS can be compromised.

It has always been a challenge for the security team to keep up with new threats but with ICS the impact could be unimaginable.

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What is "ICS SCADA Security Testing"?


"ICS SCADA Security Testing" refers to the process of evaluating and assessing the security posture of Industrial Control Systems (ICS) and Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) systems. These systems are used to monitor and control critical infrastructure such as power plants, water treatment facilities, manufacturing plants, and more. Security testing aims to identify vulnerabilities, weaknesses, and potential threats that could be exploited by malicious actors to disrupt or damage the infrastructure.



Why is ICS/SCADA security testing important?


ICS/SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) technologies are becoming high-value targets for threat actors for disrupting business operations, ransomware or compromising rival nation's systems. It is becoming crucial to address these security issues. The organisations should understand that even running on internal networks, their systems are exposed to cyberattacks if they are not adequately secured. It is important to conduct ICS security testing and implement the necessary compliances and regulations. The ICS/SCADA Security Testing or ICS/SCADA Penetration Testing helps in finding all the flaws that may cause a problem in future hence must be resolved on time.



Our approach to ICS/SCADA Security Testing


1. ICS Cyber security framework - Presenting a framework for the ICS/SCADA penetration testing requirements on accessing the entire system. 


2. ICS/SCADA Risk Assessment - Gathering information regarding the applications and components required for conducting the testing.


3. ICS/SCADA gap analysis - Analysing the current and desired system gap to reduce the risk and eliminate threats. 


4. ICS/SCADA Penetration Testing - Scanning the network with various tools to identify vulnerabilities.


5. ICS/SCADA  services - Trying to exploit the vulnerabilities identified, manually with the help of commercial tools and custom scripts and Powershell.


6. ICS incident response - A detailed report of the assessment, including an executive summary for the management. This comprises the complete findings with risk priorities, remediations and recommendations made as a part of ICS/SCADA security testing. 



ICS/SCADA tests require proper planning and a tailored approach for the testing. Our expert team can help you in getting the complete picture of your risk exposure with recommendations to resolve before they are exploited.

Talk to our executive and get your security testing conducted. 

Why ICS/SCADA security testing?

Reduced attack surface

Reducing the exposed attack surfaces associated with known vulnerabilities

Secured Code

Eliminating the readily exploitable code associated with unnecessary services

Strong Controls

Securing the systems with strong passwords and authentication methods.

Industrial Safety

Secure system ensures the safety of industry and business

Removal of known vulnerabilities

Eliminates the attacks caused by common vulnerabilities

What Illume Offers
  • 1. A comprehensive report on the findings with the recommendations and suggestions for mitigation.
    2. A description of all the tests conducted.
    3. Complete list of vulnerabilities, ranked in order of severity along with the consequences if exploited.
    4. Recommendations for addressing vulnerabilities, suggestions for changing equipment configurations and security measures.

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The organisations that operate critical infrastructure and rely on ICS SCADA systems should consider conducting regular security testing. This includes power generation and distribution companies, water utilities, oil and gas refineries, transportation networks, manufacturing plants, and more. By assessing and mitigating vulnerabilities, these organisations can enhance the security and resilience of their operations.
The main objectives of ICS SCADA Security Testing services include -
1. Vulnerability Assessment - Identifying and analysing potential vulnerabilities within the ICS SCADA environment.
2. Penetration Testing - Attempting to exploit identified vulnerabilities in a controlled manner to evaluate the system's resistance to attacks.
3. Threat Modelling - Assessing the system's security posture against likely attack scenarios and threat vectors.
4. Risk Assessment - Evaluating the impact and likelihood of identified security risks to prioritise mitigation efforts.
5. Security Policy and Compliance Review - Ensuring that the system complies with relevant security standards and policies.
Common methodologies used for ICS SCADA Security Testing include -
1. Black Box Testing - Testers have no prior knowledge of the system, simulating an external attacker scenario.
2. White Box Testing - Testers have full knowledge of the system's architecture and design.
3. Gray Box Testing - Testers have partial knowledge of the system, simulating an insider threat scenario.
Vulnerabilities assessed during ICS SCADA Security Testing may include -
1. Weak Authentication and Authorization Controls - Evaluating the effectiveness of user access controls.
2. Data Integrity and Confidentiality Issues - Assessing the security of data transmitted and stored within the system.
3. Network Security - Examining potential weaknesses in network communication and segmentation.
4. Insecure Configurations - Identifying misconfigurations that could lead to security breaches.
5. Lack of Redundancy and Fault Tolerance - Assessing the system's ability to continue functioning in the event of component failures.
6. Malware and Virus Analysis - Identifying potential malware threats and their impact on the system.
* ICS / SCADA Cyber Security Framework Assessment
* ICS / SCADA Risk Assessment & Threat Modelling
* ICS / SCADA Penetration Testing
* Stress and Scalability Testing
* SCADA Penetration Testing
* OT Penetration Testing
* Firewall Security Assessment
The ICS/SCADA Security testing includes a long list of tests that we perform, below is example of some of them * Port Scanning.
* Identifying weak access controls.
* Network Equipment Security Controls Testing.
* Administrator Privileges Escalation Testing.
* Password Strength Testing.
* Network segregation.
* Exploitation research.
* Brute Force attacks.
* Denial of service checks.
* Misconfiguration attacks.
* Manual Vulnerability Testing and Verification.
* Network architecture: network separation between control and node networks, network protocol vulnerabilities, network access point identification, traffic capture, and Command and Control intercept/modification.
* Node service: Weak authentication and authorisation, as well as issues with the Sandbox RTU/PLC/IED firmware: Hardening, password/crypto key capture, and removal and overwriting.
* System tests: Engineering workstations, Control server, IO server, HMI, Data Historian.
The frequency of ICS SCADA Security Testing depends on various factors, including the level of criticality of the infrastructure, the evolving threat landscape, regulatory requirements, and the rate of system changes and updates. Generally, it is recommended to perform security testing at least annually and whenever significant changes are made to the system or its environment.
An ideal ICS SCADA Security Testing report must include the following - 1. Executive Summary - An overview of the assessment's findings and recommendations for management.
2. Methodology - A description of the testing approach used during the assessment.
3. Vulnerability Findings - Detailed information about identified vulnerabilities, including their severity and potential impact.
4. Risk Assessment - An evaluation of the overall risk posed by the identified vulnerabilities.
5. Recommendations - Actionable steps to remediate vulnerabilities and improve the system's security posture.
6. Compliance Status - If applicable, information on how well the system complies with relevant security standards and regulations.
7. Appendices - Supporting technical details and evidence of findings.
The cost of ICS SCADA Security Testing varies depending on the complexity of the system, the scope of the assessment, the service provider's experience and reputation. Prices can range from a few thousand to tens of thousands of dollars for a single assessment. It is essential to discuss the specific requirements with potential service providers to obtain accurate cost estimates.
Yes, it is possible to conduct ICS SCADA Security Testing without causing disruptions to ongoing operations. By engaging skilled testing teams and carefully planning one can ensure that tests are conducted in a controlled and non-intrusive manner. However, it is essential to communicate the testing schedule and scope clearly to relevant personnel to minimise any potential impacts.
ICS SCADA Security Testing is an essential step in identifying and mitigating vulnerabilities but nothing can guarantee complete elimination of all security risks. As new threats and vulnerabilities keep on emerging, regular testing, combined with robust cybersecurity practices, user education, and proactive monitoring, can significantly reduce the risk of successful attacks on ICS SCADA systems.
To begin with ICS SCADA Security Testing, follow these steps -
1. Assess the needs - Evaluate the criticality of the infrastructure and the potential risks associated with ICS SCADA systems.
2. Identify service providers - Research and identify reputable ICS SCADA Security Testing service providers matching your criteria.
3. Define the scope - Clearly define the scope of the assessment, including the systems and components to be tested.
4. Engage with the provider - Discuss your requirements, obtain cost estimates, and create a testing plan before you begin.
5. Schedule the assessment - Coordinate with the provider to schedule the testing at a time that minimises operational impact.