Class 643 Discussion 3

Class 643 Discussion 3

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Class 643 Discussion 3

Some factors that might be propelling the shift away from what was once deemed a critical factor in reducing risk to industrial infrastructure and systems are the development of Advanced Persistent Threats (APTs) and military-grade or weaponized malware. Such APTs include Duqu, Flame, and Night Dragon (Knapp & Langill, 2014). Another factor is the augmentation of cybersecurity research focusing on industrial control systems fuelled by global awareness of industrial control systems security after the disclosure of one of the APTs called Stuxnet. These factors have stimulated a shift in reducing risks to industrial systems because the APTs and weaponized malware provide sophisticated threat actors with high-tech means of targeting and exploiting industrial vulnerabilities. The trend will continue because the attacks due to APTs and weaponized malware are opportunistic and financially motivated, hence increasing at alarming rates.

Some of the controls and concerns that could be applied to lessen the threats associated with the growing social networking include blocking access to social networking platforms entirely from inside industrial networks to prevent are application and protocol exploitation (Knapp & Langill, 2014). Others include launching comprehensive security awareness training for site users and running detailed social engineering penetration tests for industrial social networking sites.

The importance of understanding attackers’ motives when it comes to different types of attacks is that this allows for the recognition of the most feasible approaches to adopt in defending industrial networks from the attacks. Understanding motives significantly changes how we defend against different types of attacks by determining the types of legitimate defense controls and protocols to implement (Knapp & Langill, 2014). Based on the reading, one of the challenges I see in the attempt to develop comprehensive defenses to the broad range of threats is the rapid evolution of the ransomware attacks and other forms of cyber-attacks. Another challenge is the Internet of things in which multiple systems and devices are connected hence increasing vulnerabilities to attacks.

The landscape of cybersecurity threats has considerably changed since the writing of this text to include new forms of threats that were not addressed in the text. Examples of these include crypto-jacking, data poisoning, malicious chips, and a shortage of skills, among others. I think that the rapid pace of technological transformation alters the strategies needed to defend against threats by providing attackers with sophisticated mechanisms and tactics of executing attacks, thus overwhelming the available defense protocols, applications, and controls.


Knapp, E. D., & Langill, J. T. (2014). Industrial network security: Securing critical infrastructure networks for smart grid, SCADA, and other Industrial Control Systems, 2 Ed. Syngress.