Threat Assessment Ranks Cyber Related Vulnerabilities

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The 2014 Worldwide Threat Assessment ranks cyber-related vulnerabilities as the number one homeland security threat against the United States. In addition to cyber threats within the nation, Russia and China continue to hold views substantially divergent from the United States on the meaning and intent of international cyber security. Also stated within the 2013 Worldwide Threat Assessment is North Korea as they are becoming a tier one threat to the United States. Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition has been seen as vulnerable and is noted as a severe threat to the nation’s critical infrastructure.
James R. Clapper, Director of National Intelligence, states, “Critical infrastructure, particularly the Industrial Control Systems (ICS)
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If the America’s power grid were to suffer a major attack, it could have cascading effects that would impact other primary areas of the infrastructure, including telecommunications, water, oil and gas systems. The purpose of this paper is to elaborate on the issues surrounding SCADA systems and its vulnerabilities. Within this will be previous SCADA attacks against critical infrastructures, recommended solutions for prevention and risk assessment regarding power grids.
Vulnerabilities of SCADA Systems

“The potential for such attacks has risen sharply in recent years as many SCADA systems, including those at some very large public power companies, are increasingly integrated with networks with direct links to the Internet.” (Vijayan, 2010) It was stated by the Wall Street Journal that cyber spies in Russia, China and other countries had already taken advantage of such vulnerabilities to deeply penetrate the U.S electrical grid. This issue is not just a current problem but will continue to escalate in the future going forward along with advances in new technologies. “Thus the security for SCADA systems can no longer rely on obscurity or on being a function of locking down a system. These attacks can disrupt and damage critical infrastructural operations, cause major economic
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