A post by Dr Tingting Li, Research Associate at the Institute for Security Science & Technology.
As detailed in the recent Alex Gibney documentary Zero Days: Nuclear Cyber Sabotage, the Stuxnet worm caused havoc in an Iranian nuclear facility by exploiting unknown – and hence unprotected – weaknesses in the computer control system; so called zero-day weaknesses.
At Imperial ISST we’ve shown that the risk of a cyber-attack like Stuxnet being successful can be reduced by strategically defending the known weaknesses. We can model the relative risks in the system without foreknowledge of potential zero-day weaknesses, and maximise security by focusing defences on higher impact risks.
A post by Professor Chris Hankin, Director ISST
Increasing digitization has led to convergence between IT (Information Technology) used in offices and mobile devices, and OT (Operational Technology) that controls devices used in critical infrastructure and industrial control systems. The IoT (Internet of Things) is also rapidly growing, with around 10 billion devices today.
These trends raise concerns about the interaction between safety and security. The reality of the threat has been highlighted in national news coverage, from cyber security vulnerabilities being exploited to compromise vehicle safety, to denial of service attacks launched from consumer devices.
Discussions are sometimes hampered by the lack of clear definitions of the concepts.