Wednesday, March 18, 2015

February news roundup: Threats from around the world are increasing

There was no shortage of critical infrastructure and cybersecurity in February’s news. Threats from around the world are increasing, and U.S. gas pumps are becoming vulnerable to hackers. Additionally, President Obama’s administration is adding new laws and regulations for cybersecurity to protect critical infrastructure further. Read about these news stories and more in this month’s news roundup:

Russian Cyber Threat more Severe than Previously Assessed
United States intelligence chief delivered his annual assessment by intelligence agencies of the top dangers facing the country on Feb. 26. Following the trend of recent years, cyberattacks were listed as the top danger to U.S. national security, even more dangerous than terrorism. Russia, China, Iran and North Korea are top threats to the United States. James Clapper, Director of National Intelligence, speculated that Russian cyber threats are among the most severe.

U.S. gas pump hacked with 'Anonymous' tagline
Evidence was found that at least one U.S. internet-facing gas pump was hacked by the group Anonymous. This was shown in a report by Trend Micro, which indicated that this type of hack is strictly an American issue because more than 98 percent of internet-facing gas pumps are located in the U.S. While this hack only resulted in a name change of the gas pump, real world implications will emerge from future hacks of this kind.

U.S. Government Pushes Companies to Address Cyberthreats
The Obama administration is pushing for companies to address the growing threats of cyberattacks, to supplement the laws and regulations that are being put into place. It hopes that private companies can help to take the lead because, as President Obama said, the government cannot address the threat alone. As part of this year’s National Defense Authorization Act, defense contractors must quickly make known when they experience a breach. In a speech on cybersecurity, Obama said, “This has to be a shared mission. So many  of our computer networks and critical infrastructure are in the private sector, which means the government cannot do this alone.”

What the Sony Attack Teaches Us About Security Convergence - Lessons for the PowerIndustry on Securing Critical Infrastructure
The hacking of Sony Pictures was a major cyberattack; however, it wasn’t even close to the worst-case scenario. Cyberattacks to critical infrastructure can cause injury, chaos or even death. Similar to the Sony incident though, the hacks are caused by a blend of cyber and physical attacks and ICS attacks. The solution for this is convergence of security.

Strengthening Cyber Risk Management
In a blog post, White House cybersecurity coordinator Michael Daniel wrote about how the government is focusing on streamlining cybersecurity regulations. New cybersecurity framework released early last year showed incentives to push industries to follow the standards. Later in the year, Daniel announced that the government would focus on eight recommendations; in this blog post, he identifies three as the most promising. Among these three areas are cyber research and development. He said that the Homeland Security Department is working with the critical infrastructure community to get a better idea of their end-goals.

Do you want to check out more industrial security industry news? Check out our January news round up.

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