International cooperation is a key requirement to survival in this age of cyberwarfare, according to Kaspersky Lab's CEO.
Eugene Kaspersky delivered his keynote speech to a packed auditorium at ITU Telecom World 2012, running alongside Gitex Technology Week in Dubai, following a recent string of high profile malware discoveries by the cybersecurity firm - including Stuxnet, which targeted Iran's uranium enrichment facilities.
"In the long run, cyber-warfare is where all parties lose: attackers, victims and even uninvolved observers," said Kaspersky. "Unlike traditional weapons, tools used in cyber-warfare are very easy to clone and reprogram by adversaries. The most important move to survive in this environment is the development and deployment of a new, advanced security paradigm for the most critical infrastructure."
'Cyber-warfare' is a universal threat with no respect to borders and its impact on the most critical industrial systems can be disastrous. The keynote address described the essential measures to protect industrial control systems, with secure units to obtain trusted workflow information being the first step towards efficient protection.
Kaspersky, in his personal blog, went into further detail on the matter, differentiating between heavy-duty industrial IT and regular corporate networks.
"Though industrial IT systems and, say, typical office computer networks might seem similar in many ways, they are actually completely different beasts - mostly in terms of their priorities between security and usability," he said.
Typically for an average firm, data confidentiality tops the agenda in terms of IT security, so if a Trojan is detected then the simplest course of action is to disconnect the infected system from the network, giving some breathing time to tackle the problem.
Kaspersky explains that within industrial systems, this can't be done.
"Here the highest priority for them is maintaining constant operation come hell or high water. Uninterrupted continuity of production is of paramount importance at any industrial object in the world; protection is relegated to second place always."
In response to such challenges, Kaspersky Lab announced a Secure Operating System, which will serve as the trusted node for Industrial Control Systems.
Developed specifically for enterprises and not for 'blathering on social media', according to Kaspersky, the new OS will be pitched at nuclear power stations, energy suppliers, transportation control facilities, financial and telecommunications systems and other infrastructures which require higher levels of protection.
Kaspersky Lab also released their third quarter spam report for the GCC at this week's Gitex Technology Week. The results show Saudi Arabia to be the top source of spam in the region, with the UAE ranked second. All the GCC countries combined account for only 1.29% of all global spam, with Saudi Arabia accounting for 0.96% - no change from the same period last year.