AIRBUS, ROLLS ROYCE, BRITISH TELECOM and LIMES Security are collaborating on a highly complex research project called “Agile Incident Response 4 Industrial Control Systems”, or AIR4ICS for short. Agile methods of handling security incidents for industrial automation systems are to be researched since traditional incident-response methods can only be applied to a limited extent in industrial automation systems.
In order to understand the research approach, one must first of all know that in classical software development, extensive requirement profiles submitted by the customer have been implemented for a long time. The problem with this was that only gradually weaknesseses in requirements were revealed and could of course only be eliminated with considerable effort. Agile software development is a step-by-step process. At first only one small part is developed, tested and only when this part performs correctly the next step is taken. In short: you approach the solution step by step and can react faster to changes.
This step-by-step approach is now also being used on an experimental basis in the area of incident response for industry. The aim of the research project is to create a framework that will enable the security incident to be dealt with in small steps: “This is of immense importance, especially for large industrial plants, because, for example, a power network cannot simply be switched off in order to find out where the hacker hides. The same applies to complex industrial plants where many components are interlinked. Here it is not easy to take a component off the grid or shopfloor for inspection because the entire plant would come to a standstill. We are very much looking forward to being brought into the consortium alongside renowned companies such as ROLLS ROYCE, BRITISH TELECOM and AIRBUS, which underlines our position as a small but highly specialised and sought-after company in the field of industrial security.” explains Prof. Thomas Brandstetter, Managing Director of Limes Security.
The research project is coordinated by the British DeMONTFORT UNIVERSITY and will run 18 months.