Cyber security for Industrial Control Systems (ICS)

Our client, a major energy company in SE England asked Capula to implement a full cyber security review of their ICS (industrial control system). Given the strategic importance of the company who provide electricity to the London area, it was essential that the electrical supply to their network was not compromised.

The client’s objective was to supplement their existing effective program of mitigating the risks of viruses and unauthorised access that can endanger production, data, equipment and people.
Following an initial consultation, the client wanted to segregate parts of their network to make it more secure. Network segmentation was a measure requested by the client because localised security zones can be established, each with their own zone-specific sets of rules that can be enforced and monitored for added security.

How we helped
The first step was to review the maturity level of the client’s existing network infrastructure and supporting services and determine if there were any possible gaps in the plant’s overall security. Capula engineers then implemented a collection of advanced scanning software, vulnerability tests and analysis tools to assess the client’s network infrastructure including their servers, network devices and ancillary equipment.

A series of one-to-one client interviews were conducted to provide an accurate picture of operator’s behaviour and obtain details about their current security programme. Thanks to these open and constructive discussions, our engineers were able to obtain relevant information about whether the business’ processes were effective and robust.
All of these services were deployed within one week, without disrupting operations at the plant.

The client received confirmation that the facility’s current control system protection was effective, and a high level action plan was provided that outlined specific areas where protection could be further strengthened. Included in the report was a detailed, prioritised action plan to address the issues uncovered by the review, which also provided the basis for an enhanced cyber security programme for the site. It recommended a multi-layered security approach – with prioritised steps to implement, to undertake further safeguards.

In line with the client’s specification, areas of the network were pinpointed for segregation as an additional safety measure, to provide further reassurance to the client. Network segmentation zones have the benefit of limiting any potential intruder scans at the network level before they reach a potential target system, limiting the impact of a security breach on the network, improving network performance and limiting control communication access between segments.

The operators’ overall knowledge was improved by the service, as Capula engineers were able to impart advice and provide key insights on best practice. The engineers explained potential ways that security could be breached, and advised about new vulnerabilities that now exist within the threat landscape, all of which helped to bolster operators’ understanding. The review provided the client with greater confidence in its ability to prevent cyber security breaches.

Business Benefits

  • Supplemented client’s existing security programme with new areas for improvement
  • Provided a quality 3rd party review of existing security
  • Segmented network for added protection
  • Improved operators’ knowledge of cyber security