- The number of vulnerabilities existing in SCADA/ICS applications is high, with as many as 1,805 yet to be discovered vulnerabilities existing on some control system computers.
- The frequency of patching needed to address future SCADA/ICS vulnerabilities in both controllers and computers likely exceeds the tolerance of most SCADA/ICS operators for system shutdowns. Unlike IT systems, most industrial processes operate 24x7 and demand high uptime. Weekly shutdowns for patching are unacceptable.
- Even when patches can be installed, they can be problematic. There is a 1 in 12 chance that any patch will affect the safety or reliability of a control system, and there is a 60% failure rate in patches fixing the reported vulnerability in control system products. In addition, patches often require staff with special skills to be present. In many cases, such experts are often not certified for access to safety regulated industrial sites.
- Patches are available for less than 50% of publically disclosed vulnerabilities.
- Many critical infrastructure operators are reluctant to patch as it may degrade service and increase downtime.
Belden Research Shows That Patching For Industrial Cyber Security Is A Broken Model
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