Industry News

The Journey of Endpoint Security in ICS Cybersecurity – From Old-School to Next-Gen

06 February 2023

The evolution of endpoint security in industrial control systems (ICS) cybersecurity has been a continuous process to keep up with the changing threat landscape. With the increasing use of connected devices and the rise of advanced threats, the need for robust endpoint security has become critical. In this blog, we will discuss the evolution of security on the endpoint in ICS, the types of solutions, their advantages and disadvantages, and the factors that need to be considered while deploying.


Older Solutions

Endpoint security started as antivirus software, which was used to detect and remove malware from individual computers. Earlier there were few options available, simply antivirus was there, and sometimes anti-spyware and anti-adware were also possible. However, as the threat landscape evolved, the need for more sophisticated security solutions became evident.


Latest Solutions

Today, endpoint security has evolved into a multi-layered solution that provides protection from a wide range of threats. The latest solutions include advanced threat protection, application control, device control, patch management, and incident response. These solutions are designed to protect endpoint devices from malware, unauthorized access, and data theft.

Today we have user behavior detection, system process baselining, data loss prevention, real-time threat detection, kernel-level protection, and many more. As per changing threat scenario, these products got matured over time as well. Some of the endpoint solutions are even stopping zero-day attacks and polymorphic malware.

Solutions typically work by deploying software agents on endpoint devices. These agents communicate with a central management console to provide real-time visibility and control over the endpoint devices. The agents monitor the devices for suspicious activities, block malicious traffic, and provide immediate alerts to the security team.

The advantages of endpoint security include enhanced protection from advanced threats, increased visibility into endpoint devices, and improved incident response capabilities. On the downside, agents can be resource-intensive and can cause performance degradation on endpoint devices. So, while deploying we need to consider OEM recommendations and whether they are compatible or interfere with time-sensitive networks.


Types of Risks Averted by securing the Endpoint

Solutions protect against a wide range of risks, including malware, unauthorized access, and data theft. By deploying security on the endpoint, organizations can reduce the risk of data breaches, prevent unauthorized access to sensitive information, and ensure that their ICS are protected from cyberattacks.

Endpoint solutions come in various forms, including antivirus software, firewalls, intrusion detection and prevention systems, and more.

A few popular examples of solutions are Symantec Endpoint Protection, Kaspersky Endpoint Security, and McAfee Endpoint Security.


Factors to Consider When Deploying

When deploying, organizations need to consider the following factors:

  • Endpoint device types: Organizations need to determine the types of endpoint devices they have and what security solutions are compatible with each device.
  • Threat landscape: Organizations need to understand the threat landscape they are facing and determine what type of solution is best suited to protect their ICS.
  • Resource constraints: Organizations need to consider the resource constraints of their endpoint devices and determine what type of solution will have the least impact on performance.
  • Compliance requirements: Organizations need to ensure that their solution complies with any relevant industry regulations and standards.

In conclusion, endpoint security has evolved significantly over the years, and the latest solutions provide comprehensive protection from a wide range of threats. By deploying endpoint security, organizations can reduce the risk of cyberattacks and ensure the protection of their ICS.