Security firm releases new tool to fight cyber threats to critical infrastructure

Cybersecurity company Symantec unveiled on Monday a new network aimed at protecting critical infrastructure like the power grid from cyberattacks.

The new resource, known as the Industrial Control System Protection (ICSP) Neural, uses artificial intelligence to detect and stop potential cyberattacks on operational technology used in industries such as energy and transportation.


Symantec said in a press release that those kinds of "legacy" industries will often use unscanned USB devices to update their systems, which could introduce malware or other cyber threats to the critical infrastructure.

This new system would detect and prevent attacks coming from the unscanned USB devices by scanning the devices, detecting any malware and then sanitizing the tech.

“The impact of connecting an infected device to a critical system can be devastating,” Patrick Gardner, the senior vice president for advanced threat protection and email security at Symantec, said in a statement. “Behind the scenes, ICSP Neural will retrofit existing infrastructure with a central nervous system to provide protection for critical infrastructure."

Concerns over attacks on critical infrastructure were amplified after the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) confirmed that Russian actors were able to access the control rooms of U.S. utility companies.

DHS has since launched the National Risk Management Center, meant to identify and combat cyber and physical threats to critical infrastructure including the power grid.