Cyber-Ark Software announced its Privileged Identity Management Suite for Critical Infrastructure Protection (PIM/CIP), which secures critical infrastructure by preventing the exploitation of local or remote access to privileged accounts – the primary target of ICS and SCADA cyber-attacks.
Organizations that serve as national critical infrastructure have interconnected corporate IT systems with production and OT environments that were traditionally segregated. Connecting ICS, SCADA and other OT systems to corporate networks has introduced known risks from the IT environment into the OT environment – including the exposure of privileged access points.
Privileged access points consist of privileged and administrative accounts, default and hardcoded passwords, application backdoors, and more. These accounts act as a gateway to an organization’s most sensitive production systems, which control the production and delivery of electricity, water, gas and other critical services to the public.
The typical operational environment consists of thousands of servers, databases, SCADA RTUs and PLCs, network devices and applications – all controlled and managed by a variety of privileged and shared administrative accounts. Built-in vulnerabilities, including hardcoded and factory default passwords, are also known problems in OT and SCADA systems. The security, control and auditability of these privileged access points are often neglected, while usage is hard to monitor.
Cyber-Ark’s PIM/CIP identifies, secures, manages and tracks all privileged account access and activities across the operational environment, preventing potential cyber-attacks by controlling and monitoring all privileged activities. Cyber-Ark PIM/CIP enables critical infrastructure organizations to:
Minimize insider threats and external cyber threats – Privileged credentials have emerged as the primary target for cyber-attackers – including internal and external attackers. PIM/CIP identifies all privileged accounts across critical infrastructure and secures the use of these shared accounts by identifying users with authorization, providing full accountability and account usage (audit trails).
Manage privileged identities – Organizations can manage privileged passwords and control access for the thousands of remote devices that connect to a network. PIM/CIP enforces policies and workflows around privileged password usage, strength and automatic replacement.
Secure and monitor remote vendor/contractor access – Enables external contractors to have a secured and transparent connection into the network while isolating the critical network from the threats of malware — all without divulging system passwords. PIM/CIP provides complete real-time monitoring and recording capabilities of all privileged sessions for forensic analysis and change management review. Organizations are able to terminate suspicious activity in real-time.
Achieve compliance with NERC CIP standards – Cyber-Ark PIM/CIP automates controls to meet NERC CIP regulatory requirements and continuous audit readiness. Organizations can create audit ready processes and policies for password strength, periodic password replacement and role-based access control.
Reduce operational costs – A flexible policy management engine discovers, provisions, automates and replaces hundreds of thousands of privileged credentials across the ICS network and the Smart Grid, eliminating resource-intense manual procedures. This minimizes energy fraud/theft in smart meters by restricting access and creating accountability.