Security implications of SCADA ICS virtualization: survey and future trends



In recent years, Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) Industrial Control Systems (ICS) – a kind of systems used for controlling industrial processes, power plants or assembly lines – have become a serious concern because of security and manageability issues. Years of air-gaped isolation, the increased coupling of ICS and Information and Communication Technology (ICT) systems, together with the absence of proper management and security policies, disclosed several weaknesses in SCADA ICS. Suddenly, these systems were faced with a reality that was familiar for ICT infrastructure managers for decades, which has driven the need for the development of specific technologies, as well as the establishment of management frameworks and the adoption of security-oriented policies. Virtualization was one of such developments, whose influence spawns several domains, from networking and communications to mass storage and computing resources.
For ICT, the rise of virtualization constituted a paradigm shift, with significant gains in terms of resource consolidation, manageability or even security. These benefits are yet to fully reach the ICS domain, despite recent developments geared towards the introduction of hypervisors or software-defined networking within such systems. This paper provides an overview on the usage of such technologies to improve SCADA ICS security and reliability also proposing advanced use cases.


Virtualization, Critical Infrastructure Protection, Industrial Control Systems.

Related Project

H2020 ATENA (Advanced Tools to assEss and mitigate the criticality of ICT compoNents and their dependencies over Critical InfrAstructures)


In Proc. of ECCWS 2016 - 15th European Conference on Cyber Warfare and Security. ISBN: 978-1-5108-2544-4 , July 2016

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Year 2018 : 1 citations

 Ferruzola-Gómez E., Duchimaza-Supliguicha J., Bermeo-Almeida O., Pérez-Espinoza C., Samaniego-Cobo T., Bazán-Vera W. (2018), "Risk Analysis of Implanted Electronic Devices in Human Beings", In: Botto-Tobar M., Esparza-Cruz N., León-Acurio J., Crespo-Torres N., Beltrán-Mora M. (eds) Technology Trends. CITT 2017. Communications in Computer and Information Science, vol 798. Springer, Cham. DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-72727-1_7

Year 2017 : 1 citations

 Hallman, R., Bryan, J., Palavicini, G., Divita, J. and Romero-Mariona, J., “IoDDoS — The Internet of Distributed Denial of Sevice Attacks - A Case Study of the Mirai Malware and IoT-Based Botnets“, Proc. of the 2nd Int. Conf. on Internet of Things, Big Data and Security (IoTBDS 2017), pp. 47-58. ISBN: 978-989-758-245-5