Assessing and augmenting SCADA cyber security: a survey of techniques

Sajid Nazir*, Shushma Patel, Dilip Patel

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    106 Citations (Scopus)
    1708 Downloads (Pure)


    SCADA systems monitor and control critical infrastructures of national importance such as power generation and distribution, water supply, transportation networks, and manufacturing facilities. The pervasiveness, miniaturisations and declining costs of Internet connectivity have transformed these systems from strictly isolated to highly interconnected networks. The connectivity provides immense benefits such as reliability, scalability and remote connectivity, but at the same time exposes an otherwise isolated and secure system, to global cyber security threats. This inevitable transformation to highly connected systems thus necessitates effective security safeguards to be in place as any compromise or downtime of SCADA systems can have severe economic, safety and security ramifications. One way to ensure vital asset protection is to adopt a viewpoint similar to an attacker to determine weaknesses and loopholes in defences. Such mind sets help to identify and fix potential breaches before their exploitation. This paper surveys tools and techniques to uncover SCADA system vulnerabilities. A comprehensive review of the selected approaches is provided along with their applicability.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)436-454
    Number of pages19
    JournalComputers & Security
    Early online date5 Jul 2017
    Publication statusPublished - Sep 2017


    • SCADA systems
    • cyber security


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