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“India is Likely to See an Increasing Growth in The Industrial Control Systems”

By: DT News Network
May, 23, 2017

Industrial control system is a core element that is very important in the growth of an economy. In India ICS need attention as it dominates in country’s growth. Robust security solutions are needed to prevent ICS connected sectors from security breaches. FireEye is a brand that provides security solution and services. DT interacted with Mr. Kaushal Dalal - Managing Director for India, FireEye about ICS industry and to address the concerns for this industry in India. The conversation is also about FireEye’s overall performance and future strategies. Below are the excerpts:

DT: How do you see growth of ICS industry in India?

Mr. Kaushal: India is likely to see an increasing growth in the industrial control systems. With initiatives like Digital India and a growing reliance on connected systems, Indian organizations are continually improving their operations and advancing their manufacturing capabilities. Yet with digitization, smart devices, and better connectivity, the security risks to these industries will also increase. Industrial enterprises, for example the natural oil and gas pipelines, are part of the country’s critical infrastructure and prized targets for some attackers. To top these possible vulnerabilities, most Indian ATMs run on XPSP3 and are easy potential targets. Just like ATM breaches can risk consumers’ trust in banks and digital economy, a breach in ICS link can risk people’s trust in smart grids and the Smart City schemes.

Firms need to ensure they have a security posture sufficient to protect their important assets, information and systems.

DT: What are the prime concerns for this industry?

Mr. Kaushal: Industrial control systems are typically used in industries such as electric utilities, petroleum companies, water supplies, production lines and manufacturing organizations. The prime concerns hence, vary by industry. The one and a half year old power grid attack on 3 energy distribution companies in Ukraine is one of the most successful breaches in recent times. As a result of this breach, about 230 thousand people were left without electricity for 1-6 hours. The consequences of these industrial attacks reinforces the fact that ICS attacks are real and need our immediate attention. Given below are a few prime concerns for these industries:

  • Long-term power outages
  • Customer data theft
  • Infrastructure damage
  • Outdated hardware
  • Vulnerable software or operating systems
  • Discontinued operations on the plant floor
  • Vulnerable units in the supply chain or in the third party components
  • Interrupted business operations 

DT: What strategies should be considered to spread awareness about the ICS connected sectors like: Manufacturing, energy, utilities, transportation, etc

Mr. Kaushal: ICS connected sectors should consider the following recommendations in order to prevent their businesses from security breaches:

  • Identify all unauthenticated protocols in use on process control networks to provide understanding of vulnerability level
  • Incorporate deep packet ICS firewalls that block unauthorized commands from certain IP addresses
  • Configure restrictive access control lists and firewall rules, to minimize network connectivity of devices with outdated hardware
  • Maintain an inventory of operating systems used in an industrial environment that are unpatched or no longer supported
  • Consider upgrades for older devices that have network connectivity and support critical process control functions
  • Monitor device logs and network traffic for attempts to exploit password weaknesses
  • Obtain software/firmware directly from the vendor and not third-parties. Examine ICS products to identify third-party software before operational deployment

DT: What are your efforts to prevent businesses from security breaches? What kind of new solutions FireEye will be launching in near future?

Mr. Kaushal: Breaches are inevitable. Attackers and their methods are getting more advanced and sophisticated day by day. Security teams can’t prevent all breaches, but they should be quick in identifying and responding to the compromises. 

Our value proposition is a combination of technology, intelligence and expertise to stay ahead of attackers. Our solutions detect advanced and never-before-seen cyber attacks because they do not rely on signature-based detection. We also offer consulting services through our Mandiant team, which works on the front lines of the world’s most consequential breaches. Threat intelligence is also critical. Our FireEye iSIGHT Intelligence offering makes us the largest private source of cyber threat intelligence.

In the near future, businesses will start looking for integration of operations and simplification. This is where Security Orchestration comes into play and FireEye expects orchestration capabilities will enable organizations to move from alert to remediation in minutes. 

DT: What growth percentage you are expecting from this fiscal year? What is your targeted revenue or market share?

Mr. Kaushal: For 2016, our revenue was $714.1 million, representing an overall growth of 15%. On May 2, 2017, we announced we expect revenue in the range of $724 million to $736 million.

DT: How do you sell your solutions to Indian clients? Please brief us about your distribution strategy?

Mr. Kaushal: Channel partners are a big key to our success. Our distribution strategy largely focuses on maintaining a strong network of channel partners. FireEye’s partners are often on the front lines, so we’re enabling them to expand their potential market to include small and midsized businesses that are just starting to think about the risks posed by targeted cyber-attacks. Creating opportunities with the channel also creates enormous opportunities for our partners and we intend to expand our market reach through this existing partner ecosystem. 

DT: How does FireEye assure excellent customer service support?

Mr. Kaushal: We want to ensure our customers have the best possible experience with FireEye. We have an online support portal and an extensive network of global customer support centers to provide the best services possible. Our customers can create cases, update them, manage assets, access product downloads and also connect live with a FireEye support expert (available 24x7). 

DT: What kind of investment has the company planned for the Indian market?

Mr. Kaushal: One key focus area is improving the cyber security of the mid-market segment. Small and mid-market businesses may not have the maturity or the budget for high end cyber solutions, which are opted by large enterprises. The expansion of business into the mid-market segment, will also improve the condition of India’s cyber landscape.

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