According to Kaspersky’s (www.Kaspersky.co.za) ICS threat landscape research, phishing websites, spyware, and malicious objects were all used to attack computers in the industrial control systems (ICS) environment in the first half of 2022 in the African areas.
ICS computers are utilised in a variety of OT tasks, from the workstations of engineers and operators to Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) servers and Human Machine Interfaces, in the oil and gas, energy, automobile manufacturing, building automation infrastructures, and other fields (HMI).
Industrial computer cyberattacks are thought to be particularly risky because they could result in material losses and production halts for the regulated production line or possibly the entire facility.
In the first half of 2022, 47% of ICS computers in the oil and gas sector in the META region experienced assaults. Building automation system attacks came in second; in this industry, 45% of ICS computers were attacked. The top three environments for attacks included the energy sector, where 41% of the computers were impacted.
Every third ICS computer in South Africa (33%, up 11% from the second half of 2021) and 36% of computers in Kenya (20% up from the second half of 2021) have prevented various forms of harmful objects over the past six months. On 41% of the ICS computers in Senegal, harmful items were stopped.
ICS computers in the African regions were frequently attacked using malicious scripts and phishing websites. 19% of ICS PCs in South Africa blocked such scripts and pages in H1 2022, up 12% from H2 2021. 13% of ICS computers in Senegal, Nigeria, and Gabon were impacted; 17% in Kenya.
In H1 2022, the malware was prevented on about every tenth ICS machine in the African regions. In particular, 9% of ICS computers in South Africa and Gabon, 12% in Kenya, 11% in Senegal, and 8% in Nigeria had spyware stopped.
The need for enhanced visibility of the cyber risks affecting industrial control systems has grown as a result of sophisticated attacks. The integration of OT and IT systems has made it clear how important it is to have a comprehensive cybersecurity programme that is also well-designed.
To ensure the secure deployment and operation of a range of new, possibly dangerous technologies within plant limits, digital transformation programmes call for a new strategy. According to Emad Haffar, Head of Technical Experts at Kaspersky, “given this new reality, the Industrial Cybersecurity Maturity Modeling approach* may be used to create explicit industrial cybersecurity targets and to measure how these targets are accomplished.”