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Cybersecurity: Overcoming Challenges of Protecting Industrial Automation and Control Systems (IACS)

Just before Christmas 2015, a cyberattack on a local energy provider causes a blackout in a wide swath of Ukraine. In 2014, an attack at a South Korean nuclear reactor results in data that was leaked, albeit non-critical data, according to officials. In 2012, another breach disabled 30,000 computers at a Saudi Aramco facility.

According to a 2014 study conducted by the Ponemon Institute, 2014 Global Report on the Cost of Cyber Crime, companies in the energy and utilities sector suffered the highest mean annualized losses from cyber crimes ($13.2 million).

The implementation of a comprehensive cyber security plan to protect critical industrial automation and control systems (IACS), or what is also referred to as supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) systems, is a cornerstone of ensuring the availability of infrastructure assets and company information. It also aids compliance with federal, state and local laws and regulations, and maintaining safe and reliable operations.


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