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Field Wireless Access Points Documentation

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Control Systems Cyber Security Defense in Depth Strategies

Research has shown that information infrastructures across many public and private domains share several common attributes in IT deployment and data communications for control systems. A majority of the systems use robust architectures to enhance business and reduce costs by increasing the integration of external, business, and control system networks. However, multi-network integration strategies often lead to vulnerabilities that greatly reduce the security of an organization, and can expose mission-critical control systems to cyber threats. This document provides guidance and direction for developing 'defense-in-depth' strategies for organizations that use control system networks while maintaining a multi-tier information architecture that requires:

  • Maintenance of various field devices, telemetry collection, and/or industrial-level process systems
  • Access to facilities via remote data link or modem
  • Public facing services for customer or corporate operations

Creating Cyber Forensics Plans for Control Systems

Cyber forensics has been in the popular mainstream for some time, and has matured into an information-technology capability that is common among modern information security programs. Although scalable to many information technology domains, especially modern corporate architectures, developing a cyber forensics program can be a challenging task when being applied to nontraditional environments, such as control systems. Modern IT networks, through data exchange mechanisms, data storage devices, and general computing components provide a good foundation for creating a landscape used to support effective cyber forensics. However, modern control systems environments are not easily configurable to accommodate forensics programs. Nonstandard protocols, legacy architectures that can be several decades old, and irregular or extinct proprietary technologies can all combine to make the creation and operation of a cyber forensics program anything but a smooth and easy process.

This document takes the traditional concepts of cyber forensics and provides direction regarding augmentation for control systems operational environments. The goal is to provide guidance to the reader with specifics relating to the complexity of cyber forensics for control systems, guidance to allow organizations to create a self-sustaining cyber forensics program for their control systems environments, and guidance to support the maintenance and evolution of such programs.

This document is organized into three major sections:

  • Section 1, Traditional Forensics and Challenges to Control Systems
  • Section 2, Creating a Cyber Forensics Program for Control Systems Environments
  • Section 3, Activating and Sustaining a Cyber Forensics Program.

The document addresses the issues encountered in developing and maintaining a cyber forensics plan for control systems environments. This recommended practice supports forensic practitioners in creating a control systems forensics plan, and assumes evidentiary data collection and preservation using forensic best practices. The goal of this recommended practice is not to reinvent proven methods, but to leverage them in the best possible way. As such, the material in this recommended practice provides users with the appropriate foundation to allow these best practices to be effective in a control systems domain.

Securing WLANs Using 802.11i (draft)

This paper addresses design principles and best practices regarding the secure implementation and operation of Wireless LAN (WLAN) communication networks based on the IEEE 802.11 protocol. First, a general overview of WLAN technology and the 802.11 standard is provided. The subsequent sections describe the various initial and interim IEEE security standards leading to the 802.11i standard. An explanation of the 802.11i standard for securing WLAN networks is then presented, followed by principles for designing secure WLAN networks, and a list of specific security best practices that can be used as a guideline for organizations considering the deployment of a WLAN. Finally, a section on technical issues and special considerations for installations of WLAN networks in industrial environments is presented. A concluding section summarizes key points and is followed by a list of online technical references related to the topics presented.

Securing ZigBee Wireless Networks in Process Control System Environments (draft)

This paper addresses design principles and best practices regarding the secure implementation and operation of ZigBee wireless networks. ZigBee is a protocol specification and industry standard for a type of wireless communications technology generically known as Low-Rate Wireless Personal Area Networks (LR-WPAN). LR-WPAN technology is characterized by low-cost, low-power wireless devices that self-organize into a short-range wireless communication network to support relatively low throughput applications such as distributed sensing and monitoring. Networks can range from simple single-hop star topologies to more complex multi-hop mesh networks. The emergence of LR-WPAN technology and ZigBee standardization is appealing because of its potential for relatively fast, low cost, and simplified implementations compared to more traditional wired network installations used for industrial and process automation applications. The ZigBee specification provides a standardized set of protocols, services, and interfaces for vendors to create LR-WPAN hardware platforms and software applications that will enable customers to deploy complete, interoperable low-power mesh networking systems for monitoring and control.

The focus of this paper is on the secure deployment of ZigBee networks in industrial environments, such as manufacturing and process automation facilities. ZigBee is the name given to a specific protocol standard being developed by the ZigBee Alliance, the industry group overseeing its development and the process for certifying and branding compliant products. The term LR-WPAN, on the other hand, is a generic reference to the type of technology that is being standardized by groups such as the ZigBee Alliance. LR-WPAN is the term used by the IEEE, which has standardized the lowest layers of the technology but stopped short of developing the higher layers of the protocol stack needed to achieve fully functional and interoperable networks and applications. It should be noted that other industry groups are also engaged in the development of LR-WPAN standards, such as the ISASP100 and Wireless HART efforts.

This document will begin with a conceptual overview of LR-WPAN technology and the role that the ZigBee protocol plays in the development and standardization process. A section on the IEEE 802.15.4 specification upon which ZigBee is based is then presented, followed by a description of the ZigBee standard and its various components. A following section will describe ZigBee the security architecture, services, and features. Next, a section on secure LR-WPAN network design principles is presented, followed by a list of specific recommended security best practices that can be used as a guideline for organizations considering the deployment of ZigBee networks. Finally, a section on technical issues and special considerations for installations of LR-WPAN networks in industrial environments is presented. A concluding section summarizes key points and is followed by a list of technical references related to the topics presented in this document.

Backdoors and Holes in Network Perimeters A Case Study for Improving Your Control System Security

The Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) system of a natural gas utility was compromised resulting in a reduction of operation. The breach was discovered when operator interfaces became unresponsive and the system was no longer acquiring data. As a result, the system was disconnected from the network and a combination of manual operation overrides and limited fail-over to a backup server went into effect until the environment could be restored. Technicians troubleshooting the incident identified the deletion of several core application files on the primary control server as the source of the problem.

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