According to a report compiled by the Government Accountability Office (GAO), most of the chemical facilities are vulnerable to cyber attacks as they are either using obsolete hardware out of date software which is against the federal training guidelines.
The Federal Watchdog says that most of the 3,300 chemical facilities are running against the Cybersecurity standards outlined by the Department of Homeland Security Chemical Facilities Anti Terrorism Standards (CFATS) program.
“ A strike of a cyber attack on chemical facilities could lead to serious consequences such as health-based risks to the populace living in the nearby facility and might also lead to life loss” says the GAO. The report states that cyber crooks might manipulate the control systems to release hazardous material leading to mass casualties.
DHS is advising the following standards to those inspecting the chemical facilities and that includes
- Assess whether the performance goals are being met as per the Cybersecurity standards
- Document every process for reviewing at the later stage
- Ensure that the Cybersecurity training such as webinars, courses and refresher training is performed on an efficient note
- Maintaining data regarding cyber integration levels in chemical facilities
Note- From the past two years, DHS and its cyber wing Cybersecurity Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) have been warning the public and private entities operating in the United States about possible cyberattacks on the IT infrastructure.