ISA Certified Automation Professional (CAP) program

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Certified Automation Professionals (CAPs) are responsible for the direction, design, and deployment of systems and equipment for manufacturing and control systems.

CAP question

If a denial of service attack (DoS) shuts down an industrial network, which basic security property is affected?

A. Usability.
B. Availability.
C. Integrity.
D. Reliability.

CAP Answer

The answer is B: "Availability".

According to US-CERT 6, a denial-of-service attack (DoS attack) is a cyber-attack where the perpetrator seeks to make a machine or network resource unavailable to its intended users by temporarily or indefinitely disrupting services of a host connected to the Internet.

Denial of service is typically accomplished by flooding the targeted machine or resource with superfluous requests in an attempt to overload systems and prevent some or all legitimate requests from being fulfilled.

The problem statement indicates the industrial control network was shut down, so the DoS attack has affected the availability (access) to the network.

Reference: Trevathan, Vernon L., A Guide to the Automation Body of Knowledge, 2nd Ed., 2006