ISS Protects SCADA

ISS is offering customers increased protection for SCADA systems, the control system used to run most utilities

August 24, 2005

2 Min Read

ATLANTA -- Internet Security Systems (ISS) (NASDAQ: ISSX - News) today announced it is offering customers increased protection for SCADA systems. SCADA, which stands for supervisory control and data acquisition, is the control system used to run most utilities, including electricity and water, as well as transportation infrastructure.

The disruption of SCADA networks can cause large-scale black-outs, loss of water supply and the halting of major transportation systems, making them an attractive target for hackers and terrorists. In addition to improving the overall security landscape for customers, ISS' SCADA protection will help power companies comply with the recently signed energy bill, which allows the federal government to enforce new cyber security standards at these companies.

"Eighty-five to ninety percent of our nation's critical information systems are owned by the private sector," said Tom Noonan, president and CEO of Internet Security Systems and a founding member of President Bush's National Infrastructure Advisory Council. "It is therefore crucial that utilities organizations and IT vendors work together to close gaps in the security of this infrastructure."

Working in conjunction with SCADA experts like network security consulting firm, Digital Bond, ISS has developed protection algorithms for SCADA protocols in the company's Proventia® Intrusion Prevention Appliances. This new protection builds upon existing ISS prevention capabilities for shielding SCADA systems from a wide variety of Internet and operating system threats. ISS will also continue to offer companies comprehensive SCADA security assessment, design and deployment assistance through its Professional Security Services group, as well as 24/7/365 expert monitoring and management through its Managed Security Services group.

"We are pleased that Internet Security Systems is incorporating SCADA intelligence, related to tools we developed under a Department of Homeland Security research contract, into its overall offerings," said Dale Peterson, lead researcher on Digital Bond's SCADA IDS research project. "Due to their inherent vulnerabilities, it is critical that special attention be placed on the security of SCADA protocols."

Most SCADA systems being used today were developed many years ago, before businesses became dependant on computers and the Internet, and were therefore not developed with online security in mind. As SCADA systems are increasingly being connected to the Internet in order to increase operational efficiency and allow for remote access, ISS cautions that security concerns will continue to rise.

"At ISS, we've been consulting with major utilities companies for years in order to assess and help protect against SCADA vulnerabilities," said Ray Gazaway, vice president of Professional Security Services at ISS. "By adding new protection algorithms that are specifically tailored to SCADA protocols to our intrusion prevention products, we are elevating the commitment among the IT security industry to work diligently alongside the government to protect vital components of our national infrastructure against future attacks."

Internet Security Systems Inc.

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