Cybersecurity is crucial in control rooms to safeguard critical infrastructure and ensure uninterrupted operations. Critical sectors such as energy, transportation, and manufacturing, rely heavily on interconnected systems and data. Because the control room manages many essential functions, all infrastructure there needs to be protected meticulously. A cyber breach could compromise these systems, leading to disastrous consequences, including accidents, disruptions, and unauthorized access to sensitive information.
Barco CTRL has a dedicated security roadmap, as part of our secure by design processes, that is built around 5 main pillars. In this article, we list these pillars and educate ou on their different aspects. In the next months, we will dive deeper into how our designers embed everything into Barco CTRL.
User Verification: Authentication, Authorization and Accounting (AAA) involves robust authentication mechanisms such as passwords, biometrics, or multi-factor authentication to verify the identity of users. This ensures that only authorized personnel can access control room systems.
Device Authentication: In addition to user authentication, AAA also includes mechanisms for authenticating devices and systems, preventing unauthorized devices from connecting to the control room network.
Access Controls: The authorization component of AAA determines the level of access granted to authenticated users. It ensures that individuals have permissions appropriate to their roles, limiting access to critical systems and information based on job responsibilities.
Data Encryption: Employing strong encryption protocols for communication channels ensures that sensitive information remains confidential. This safeguards data from unauthorized interception or tampering during transmission, maintaining the integrity and confidentiality of critical data.
Secure Protocols: Implementing secure communication protocols, such as HTTPS for web-based applications and secure communication standards for industrial control systems, helps prevent vulnerabilities and unauthorized access. This ensures that data exchanged between devices and systems is resistant to eavesdropping or manipulation.
Network Segmentation: Properly segmenting control room networks isolates critical systems from less secure areas, reducing the attack surface. This limits the potential impact of a security breach, as attackers find it more challenging to move laterally within the network.
Encrypting and controlling the distribution of content, prevents data breaches and ensures the confidentiality and integrity of sensitive information, bolstering overall cybersecurity in the control room environment.
Vulnerability Management: Barco is regularly assessing and patching software vulnerabilities as this is fundamental to system protection. This helps control rooms stay ahead of potential exploits and ensures that the systems are running the latest security updates.
Endpoint Protection: Deploying endpoint protection solutions, such as antivirus and anti-malware software, safeguards individual devices within the control room. This prevents the introduction of malicious code or unauthorized software that could compromise system integrity. In Barco CTRL we solve this by using the appliance model which blocks a lot of these types of attacks.
Data Encryption: Encryption of data at rest ensures that information stored on devices is protected even if physical access to the device is possible.
Trusted software only: Devices are stopped from booting unauthorized software by preventing access to boot settings and ensuring that software has been signed by Barco.
Security Configuration: Properly configuring system settings and parameters is critical for minimizing security risks. This includes disabling unnecessary services, setting strong authentication mechanisms, and adhering to security best practices to create a robust security posture.
Activity Logging: The accounting aspect of AAA involves tracking and logging user activities. This includes monitoring login/logout times, system functions executed, configuration changes, changes to access controls and data accessed. These logs provide a comprehensive audit trail, aiding in the detection of suspicious behavior and facilitating forensic analysis in the event of a security incident.