Top control system tips

While working with industry, CERT Australia has collated a set of relatively inexpensive and simple to implement improvements that they have seen employed in operational technology (OT) environments.

Each organisation should perform a careful risk-assessment of all tips, to ensure compatibility with their own specific requirements and systems.

If you have any feedback regarding either an additional control systems tip, or discover a new issue with an existing tip, please contact the control systems team on info [at] cert.gov.au

While addressing cyber security in a controlled environment, these tips are intended to be:

  • helpful
  • relatively quick to implement
  • inexpensive to implement
  • and a first steps approach.

The tips do not represent:

  • the most frequently occurring vulnerabilities
  • actions which provide the highest level of protection
  • a complete set of actions for security
  • a replacement for a complete, long-term security plan.

Here's a brief description of each:

Tip 1:     Disable maintenance connections except when required

Tip 2:     Implement two-factor authentication

Tip 3:     Disable USB ports whenever possible

Tip 4:     Visibly mark the devices authorised to be in control systems environment

Tip 5:     Make regular backups and keep them isolated

Tip 6:     Regularly review firewall settings are in an expected state

Tip 7:     Prevent direct egress from the control network to the internet

Tip 8:     Prevent External DNS Lookups

Tip 9:     Enable logging

Information about the tips is further detailed in the following download: