Belden Responds to Sophisticated Cyber Threats on Critical Industrial Infrastructure

As Advanced Threats Intensify, Belden, Tofino Security and exida Experts Share a Roadmap to Protect Industrial Settings

St. Louis, Missouri – July 12, 2012

Over the past two years, industrial infrastructure has been identified as a key target for hackers and government-sponsored warfare, attracting some of the most sophisticated cyberattacks on record.  Belden Inc. (NYSE: BDC), a global leader in signal transmission solutions for mission-critical applications, in coordination with Tofino Security – part of Belden’s Hirschmann brand – has developed a sound product portfolio and business processes to protect critical infrastructure against these emerging threats.

Legacy industrial communication and networking systems originally designed to work only within facility walls are opening up, as organizations look to work smarter and more efficiently. As a result, the industrial floor has become a hotbed of information activity, with intelligence passing back and forth between industrial settings and outside systems. 

“It’s vital for companies to employ industrial Ethernet systems enforced with secure industrial cabling, switches, routers and firewalls if they are going to protect critical operations from cyber sabotage,” said Eric Byres, CTO and vice president of engineering at Tofino Security. “The push for efficiency now requires increased information passing between the industrial and enterprise systems. This significantly elevates the risk and need for top-notch security – starting at the plant floor.”

But the level of sophistication shown by Stuxnet, Night Dragon and Flame – and the open aggression between countries – requires more than advanced hardware protection. Company policies and internal security processes across all system components are crucial to the success of any security system in an era of heightened threat. The likely targets of cyberattacks aimed at nation states are energy, water and transportation systems.  

Complementing the Belden Industrial Ethernet product offering, Tofino Security, in partnership with exida, recommends a seven-step process designed to help protect industrial systems from these highly advanced threats:

  1. Assess existing systems: Understand risk and prioritize vulnerabilities
  2. Document policies & procedures: Determine position regarding Industrial Control Systems (ICS) and develop company-specific policies
  3. Train personnel and contractors: Develop and institute policy awareness and training programs
  4. Segment the control system network: Create distinct network segments and isolate critical parts of the system
  5. Control access to the system: Provide physical and logistical access controls
  6. Harden the components of the system: Lock down the functionality of components
  7. Monitor and maintain the system: Update antivirus signatures, install patches and monitor for suspicious activity

“We developed the 7 Step process to give our clients the information they need to get started on implementing more robust cyber security practices,” said John Cusimano, director of security at exida. 

“Security researchers and hackers have identified numerous vulnerabilities in the products used in industrial operations – specifically the water, energy and transportation industries – and it’s absolutely vital that companies start now to secure core components through best practice policies and industrially-focused security technologies,” said Byres. “We now know that Stuxnet and Flame remained hidden in their target networks for years – by the time worms like these start to do damage, it is too late to defend against them.”

Additional information on securing critical infrastructure is available in the white paper “7 Steps to ICS and SCADA Security.”

Additional Information

Press Release

Tofino Security provides practical and effective industrial network security and SCADA security products that are simple to implement and that do not require plant shutdowns. Its products include configurable security appliances with a range of loadable security modules plus fixed function security appliances made for specific automation vendor applications. Tofino Security products protect zones of equipment on the plant floor, and are complementary to Belden’s Hirschmann brand, which leads industrial networking solutions. Both groups service and secure industrial networks in the oil and gas, utilities, transportation and automation industries.

About Belden
St. Louis-based Belden Inc. designs, manufactures, and markets cable, connectivity, and networking products in markets including industrial automation, enterprise, transportation, infrastructure, and consumer electronics. It has approximately 6,800 employees, and provides value for industrial automation, enterprise, education, healthcare, entertainment and broadcast, sound and security, transportation, infrastructure, consumer electronics and other industries. Belden has manufacturing capabilities in North America, South America, Europe, and Asia, and a market presence in nearly every region of the world. Belden was founded in 1902, and today is a leader with some of the strongest brands in the signal transmission industry. For more information, visit

About exida
exida is a world leading engineering services & certification body focused on helping automation suppliers and users improve the safety, security and reliability of their industrial automation sys-tems. Established by several of the world’s top safety, security, and reliability experts, the company is owned by these partners and independent of any vendor ownership. exida’s main offices are located in Sellersville, PA, USA and Munich, Germany with service centers worldwide.


For more information, contact:

George Robertson

Joann Byres

Belden, Belden Sending All The Right Signals, Tofino and the Belden logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of Belden Inc. or its affiliated companies in the United States and other jurisdictions. Belden and other parties may also have trademark rights in other terms used herein.