Access and Feeds

Industrial Devices: Riddled with Vulnerabilities

By Dick Weisinger

Just like the consumer products used in your home, electronics used in devices for manufacturing and other industrial purposes contain computer chips that are programmed to perform very specialized tasks. Devices used for controlling industrial equipment are called Operational Technology (OT) devices.

Recent studies have found that, in general, most OT devices contain large numbers of software vulnerabilities. Devices manufactured by Motorola, Siemens, Yokogawa, and Honeywell have all been found to contain security issues.

A study by Forescout concluded that by “exploiting these vulnerabilities, attackers with network access to a target device could remotely execute code, change the logic, files or firmware of OT devices, bypass authentication, compromised credentials, cause denials of service or have a variety of operational impacts.”

Erik Nost, analyst at Forrester, said that “integrating security into the entire process, from design to testing to deployment, often competes against other priorities and deadlines. It takes commitment at an organizational level which seems to be coming to fruition for a lot of organizations these days, after years of trials and missteps.”

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