Brownfield asset discovery refers to the process of identifying and documenting existing assets in an industrial control system (ICS) environment. It's a crucial practice in the management of ICS environments, particularly those that have evolved and expanded over time. Throughout this evolution, various pieces of hardware, software, communication protocols, and system configurations can get introduced without adequate documentation. These "hidden" or undocumented assets, often legacy components, could pose potential security risks. The objective of brownfield asset discovery is to uncover these, providing visibility into the entire ICS environment and therefore improving security posture.
Asset discovery in brownfield environments should be conducted with caution to avoid disrupting critical operations or causing unintended consequences. Brownfield asset discovery in Industrial Control Systems (ICS) environment refers to the process of identifying, cataloguing, and managing existing or previously used resources within a legacy operating environment. This is often contrasted with greenfield discovery, which applies to entirely new or unused environments. ICS environments, which are prevalent in industries such as energy production and distribution, manufacturing, and transportation, present unique challenges for brownfield asset discovery. For one, these environments are typically characterized by an array of legacy systems and devices, which may lack the built-in security features or compatibility with modern management tools found in more contemporary systems. Moreover, given the critical nature of the operations these systems support, there is often a high degree of caution exercised to avoid disruptions or unintended consequences. To this end, asset discovery must be conducted with care, accounting for both the operational necessities and the potential risks inherent in the environment.
The PBOSecure consulting team is capable of assisting you in conducting asset discovery in an ICS environment. Please inform us of how we can be of assistance.
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