Every third industrial computer was targeted in the Middle East in H1 2022

Every third industrial computer was targeted in the Middle East in H1 2022

In the first half of 2022 in the Middle East, computers in the industrial control systems (ICS) environment were attacked using multiple means. Malicious objects were blocked on every third (36%) ICS computer in the region that was protected by Kaspersky solutions, according to the ICS threat landscape report by Kaspersky ICS CERT. Phishing pages were blocked on 15% of ICS computers in the region, and spyware – on 11% of computers.

ICS computers are used in oil and gas, energy, automotive manufacturing, building automation infrastructures and other spheres to perform a range of OT functions – from the workstations of engineers and operators to supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) servers and human machine interface (HMI). Cyberattacks on industrial computers are considered to be extremely dangerous as they may cause material losses and production downtime for the controlled production line and even the facility as the whole. Moreover, industrial enterprises put out of service can seriously undermine a region’s social welfare, ecology and macroeconomics.

In the first half of 2022 in the Middle East, Turkey and Africa (META) region ICS computers in the oil and gas sector faced attacks most often (47% of them got attacked). Attacks on building automation systems were in the second place – 45% of ICS computers in this sector were targeted. The energy sector was also among the top three environments that got attacked (41% computers there were affected).

“Sophisticated attacks have increased the demand for better visibility of the cyber-risks that impact industrial control systems. The integration of IT and OT systems has highlighted the need for a comprehensive yet purposely built cybersecurity program. Digital transformation programs require a new approach to ensure the secure deployment and operation of a variety of new, potentially unsafe devices within plant boundaries. Given this new reality, the Industrial Cybersecurity Maturity Modeling approach might be used to define clear industrial cybersecurity targets and to measure how these targets are met,” said Emad Haffar, Head of Technical Experts at Kaspersky.

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