What is an industrial control system

ICS (industrial control system)

Industrial Control System (ICS) is the generic term for industrial control systems with an infrastructure made up of hardware, software and networking components. With SCADA, ICS technology includes network control technology with which data is recorded and analyzed in real time. The SCADA technology is used for the monitoring, control and optimization of supply facilities and industrial plants.


Other industrial control systems are distributed or automatic control systems; Distributed Control System (DCS) and Industrial Automation and Control System (IACS). Networking is an important aspect of the control systems. These include Programmable Logic Controllers (PLC) and Programmable Automation Controllers (PAC), which are used as computer units for the automation, monitoring and control of industrial production facilities.

Furthermore, it is about control consoles and remote control terminals, which are used wherever no control terminal can be accommodated for reasons of space or security. In addition to the components mentioned, there are also intelligent components such as Intelligent Electronic Devices (IED) as well as control servers for automation technology and a large number of different sensors.

Security requirements for ICS systems.

The earlier machines and technical components that were used in the various production and manufacturing areas, in power plants and in transportation were not computerized and functionally aligned with the company's production infrastructure. The networks in which they were integrated had no connection to other networks and were therefore safe from outside interference. Since these networks and their components are connected to the Internet og Things (IoT) in the modern production world, the security requirements have changed accordingly.

The security requirements are based on multi-factor authentication (MFA) and according to the principle of least privileges (POLP). Protecting the infrastructure from malware. Segmentation of the networks in order to limit the possibilities of attack. Traffic monitoring and threat analysis.