Recent cyberattacks against Colonial Pipeline, meat-processor JBS and other organisations highlight the urgent need to increase cybersecurity around critical infrastructure in the United States. Ensuring proper cybersecurity measures must remain a priority for private and public companies, especially given the increasingly online and digital nature of operating systems today.
Currently, many industrial control systems are run by supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) systems, which are a mixture of software and hardware components that enable the control of facilities like production plants. Companies typically use industrial control systems, and by extension SCADA systems, to gather real-time data on all aspects of industrial production, ranging from the refining of oil to the control of waste disposal and even coordinating the transportation of goods.
The critical oversight role that SCADA systems play within the industrial control system framework makes SCADA systems particularly appealing to threat actors, with Stuxnet being the first known to exclusively target SCADA systems to control networks.
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Could implementing a blockchain framework help prevent such cyberattacks on industrial control and SCADA systems? The answer is a resounding yes, particularly if blockchain implementation is also merged with other emerging technologies like internet-of-things devices and 5G.