Cyber-attacks on critical national infrastructure (CNI) are growing in volume and sophistication, with destructive attacks far more common than at first thought, according to a new report from Trend Micro and the Organization of American States (OAS).

Over 500 security chiefs working at CNI firms in 26 OAS member countries in North and South America were interviewed to compile the Report on Cybersecurity and Critical Infrastructure.

It revealed that 43% had seen an increase in attacks over the past year, versus a quarter who hadn’t, and an overwhelming 76% said that these cyber raids were getting more sophisticated.

While attempts to steal information were the most commonly seen form of attack (60%), destructive cyber-attacks were not far behind.

Mark Kedgley, CTO, New Net Technologies comments, “This research and the most recent ICS-CERT report (based on reported incidents) and the more recent USA Today survey  irrefutably shows CNI systems are increasingly subject to cyber attacks. The real concern is that in parallel, the trends in state-of-the-art APT attacks - such as the devastating Carbanak APT - are that cyber attacks at the sophisticated end of the spectrum are becoming more effective too. It is only a matter of time before serious damage is done and expensive wide scale disruption ensues.

While there is still no magic-bullet defense technology available the only option is to embrace the latest NERC CIP Version 5. It may not be what CNI organizations want to hear but this will deliver a comprehensive set of required security best practices for vulnerability management, access control and breach detection controls and may just keep the lights on.”

You can read the full article on Info Security Magazine here

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