Browse Definitions :
Definition

industrial control system (ICS)

Contributor(s): Matthew Haughn

Industrial control system (ICS) is a general term used to describe the integration of hardware and software with network connectivity in order to support critical infrastructure. ICS technologies include, but are not limited to, supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) and distributed control systems (DCS), industrial automation and control systems (IACS), programmable logic controllers (PLCs), programmable automation controllers (PACs), remote terminal units (RTUs), control servers, intelligent electronic devices (IEDs) and sensors.

Historically, most machinery and engineering components used in manufacturing and the operation of power plants, water and wastewater plants, transport industries and other critical infrastructures were dumb, and those that were computerized typically used proprietary protocols. The networks they belonged to were air-gapped and protected from the outside world. This has changed over the years and components of today's ICSs are often connected directly or indirectly to the internet.

Advances in smart sensor technology and wireless networking have made the blending of operational technology (OT) with information technology (IT) desirable and cost-effective. Despite the benefits of increased speed, better responsiveness to conditions and improved reliability that IT/OT convergence had brought, however, there are drawbacks in terms of security.

Targeted attacks against ICSs by terrorists pose a threat to most nations around the world. As remote telemetry units used to input change become more capable of local control and as the Internet of Things (IoT) and Industrial IoT continue to grow, it becomes increasingly important  for strategies to protect ICSs from security threats be top of mind.

In the United States, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has offered these recommends for protecting industrial control systems:

This was last updated in August 2017

Continue Reading About industrial control system (ICS)

Join the conversation

1 comment

Send me notifications when other members comment.

Please create a username to comment.

How has the Internet of Things made IDCs more vulnerable to attack?
Cancel

-ADS BY GOOGLE

File Extensions and File Formats

SearchCompliance

  • Whistleblower Protection Act

    The Whistleblower Protection Act of 1989 is a law that protects federal government employees in the United States from ...

  • smart contract

    A smart contract, also known as a cryptocontract, is a computer program that directly controls the transfer of digital currencies...

  • risk map (risk heat map)

    A risk map, also known as a risk heat map, is a data visualization tool for communicating specific risks an organization faces. A...

SearchSecurity

  • certificate authority (CA)

    A certificate authority (CA) is a trusted entity that issues digital certificates, which are data files used to cryptographically...

  • hacktivism

    Hacktivism is the act of hacking, or breaking into a computer system, for a politically or socially motivated purpose.

  • advanced persistent threat (APT)

    An advanced persistent threat (APT) is a prolonged and targeted cyberattack in which an intruder gains access to a network and ...

SearchHealthIT

  • Cerner Corp.

    Cerner Corp. is a public company in North Kansas City, Mo., that provides various health information technologies, ranging from ...

  • clinical decision support system (CDSS)

    A clinical decision support system (CDSS) is an application that analyzes data to help healthcare providers make decisions and ...

  • Health IT (health information technology)

    Health IT (health information technology) is the area of IT involving the design, development, creation, use and maintenance of ...

SearchDisasterRecovery

  • tabletop exercise (TTX)

    A tabletop exercise (TTX) is a disaster preparedness activity that takes participants through the process of dealing with a ...

  • risk mitigation

    Risk mitigation is a strategy to prepare for and lessen the effects of threats faced by a data center.

  • ransomware recovery

    Ransomware recovery is the process of resuming options following a cyberattack that demands payment in exchange for unlocking ...

SearchStorage

  • SSD (solid-state drive)

    An SSD (solid-state drive) is a type of nonvolatile storage media that stores persistent data on solid-state flash memory.

  • file system

    In a computer, a file system -- sometimes written filesystem -- is the way in which files are named and where they are placed ...

  • storage virtualization

    Storage virtualization is the pooling of physical storage from multiple storage devices into what appears to be a single storage ...

Close