Is Cybersecurity for the Nation’s Critical Infrastructure Rooted In the Past?

Efforts to increasingly digitize networks that run the nation’s critical infrastructure enterprises also are boosting attack surfaces and vulnerabilities in an enduring cybersecurity contest in which hackers target those weaknesses with an elevated furor, experts admonished during a panel discussion on the issue.

In spite of the technological improvements aimed at making systems more efficient and the work easier for employees, the push away from manual and analog systems, even as backups, is ill-advised, said Marty Edwards, director of the Industrial Control Systems Cyber Emergency Response Team (ICS-CERT) for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). “It is alarming the number of critical infrastructure control systems that are accessible via the Internet,” Edwards said.

Maybe the answers lie in the re-engineering of some of the most critical components into efficient analog systems, keeping offline those networks that could bring the nation to its knees if disrupted by a cyber attack, he said during the inaugural Critical Infrastructure Protection Roundtable, presented Thursday by the AFCEA Cyber Committee.



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