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Today, with the Cybercrime is on the rise and there is still a lot to be done to protect our computer networks — to We are safe with our bits and bytes. At the However, it is clear that not enough work has been done. to secure our atoms — namely, the Hard physical infrastructure that runs the world economy.

Now, nations are teeming in with operational technology (OT) platforms that have essentially computerized their entire physical infrastructures, whether it’s buildings and bridges, trains and automobiles or the Machine tools and assembly lines that Keep economies humming. But the Idea that a hospital bed can be hacked — or a plane or a bridge — is still a very new concept. We need to These threats can cause severe damage and you should take them seriously.

Imagine, for example, an attack against a major power generator plant that Leaves the Northeast U.S. without heat during a particularly cold spell. Take into account the tremendous amount of hardship — and even death — that This attack would result in homes going dark, businesses being cut off from customers, and hospitals struggling. to Airports close down and operate.

The Stuxnet disease, which was first discovered over a decade back, was the First indication that Cyberthreats could use physical infrastructure as a target. Stuxnet was an attack worm. that Infected the Software of at least 14 industrial locations in Iran, including an enrichment plant for uranium.


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Since then, the Stuxnet virus has mutated and spread. to You can also find other energy-producing and industrial plants all around the globe the world. Reality is that Stuxnet-like attacks are now threatening critical infrastructure all over the world. There are security holes everywhere. the Critical systems are used in the The most important industries around the globe, including power and water, transport, manufacturing, and other services.

Built-in vulnerability

Problem: that operational Technology manufacturers did not design their products with security in view. Consequently, billions of dollars worth of OT assets today are highly susceptible. These products are built using microcontrollers communicating with over insecure Buses using the controller area network (CAN), The CAN protocol can be used for everything, from passenger cars to agricultural equipment. to Medical instruments and building automation. It does not support secure communications. It lacks the all-important authorization and authentication. A CAN frame, for example, does not contain any information about the Address of the sender or the receiver.

Therefore, CAN bus networks have become more vulnerable. to Malicious attacks, especially those that are aimed at children and the elderly. the cyberattack landscape expands. This is a good thing. that We need innovative solutions and new approaches to Secure CAN buses better and protect vital infrastructure.

Before we talk about what this security should look like, let’s examine what can happen if a CAN bus network is compromised. A CANbus is basically a shared communication channel between multiple microprocessors. An example of this is an automobile. the The CAN bus makes this possible the Engine system, combustion, braking, lighting, and engine system to You can communicate seamlessly with one another over the internet the Channel shared.

But because the The CAN bus is intrinsically insecureHackers are able to interfere with that Start sending random messages and communication that You are still in compliance the protocol. Just imagine the mayhem that A hacker could take control of automated vehicles on a small scale, making driverless cars a dangerous swarm of potentially fatal objects.

The challenge is the automotive industry — indeed for all major industries — is to I designed a security system that would protect CANs with strong embedded protection, low cost, and high fault tolerance. That’s why I see massive opportunity for startups that can address this issue and ultimately defend all our physical assets — every plane, train, manufacturing system, and so on —from cyberattack.

How OT security works

What would it look like? It could, at least, try to be. to Solve the security problem by adding a layer of intelligence — as well as a layer of authentication — to a legacy CAN bus. This solution could intercept data. the CAN and deconstruct the Protocol to Alert and enrich anomalous communications via OT data buses. With such a solution installed, operators of high-value physical equipment would gain real-time, actionable insight about anomalies and intrusions in their systems — and thus be better equipped to Stop any cyberattack.

This type of company is likely to come from the defense industry. It will have deep foundational tech at the Both embedded data plane and the Ability to Examine various machine protocols.

With the This is a huge opportunity worth at least $10 billion if you have the right team and support. Our physical infrastructure is our most critical obligation. That’s why there is a pressing need for new solutions that Cyberattacks are being dealt with seriously by our team.

Adit Singh is a partner in Cota Capital.


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