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Control systems

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Definitions Edit

Control system(s) is/are

computer-based systems that are used within many infrastructures and industries to monitor and control sensitive processes and physical functions. Typically, control systems collect sensor [measurement]]s and operational data from the field, process and display this information, and relay control commands to local or remote equipment. Control systems perform functions that range from simple to complex.[1]
[a] system in which deliberate guidance or manipulation is used to achieve a prescribed value for a variable. Control systems include SCADA, DCS, PLCs and other types of industrial measurement and control systems.[2]
a device or set of devices used to manage, command, direct, or regulate the behavior of other devices or systems.[3]

Types of control systems Edit

There are two primary types of control systems: distributed control systems and supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) systems. Distributed control systems typically are used within a single processing or generating plant or over a small geographic area, while SCADA systems typically are used for large, geographically dispersed operations. For example, a utility company may use a distributed control system to manage power generation and a SCADA system to manage its distribution.

SCADA system Edit

A SCADA system is generally composed of six components: instruments, operating equipment, local processors, short-range communication, host computers, and long-range communications.

Vulnerabilities Edit

Control systems are vulnerable to flaws or weaknesses in system security procedures, design, implementation, and internal controls. When these weaknesses are accidentally triggered or intentionally exploited, they could result in a security breach. Vulnerabilities could occur in control systems' policies, platform (including hardware, operating systems, and control system applications), or networks.

References Edit

  1. Critical Infrastructure Protection: Challenges and Efforts to Secure Control Systems, at 1 n.1.
  2. NIST Special Publication 800-82, at B-2.
  3. 20 Critical Security Controls for Effective Cyber Defense: Consensus Audit Guidelines, at 10.

Sources Edit

See also Edit

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