Project Vision: Passive mapping for fragile systems

An innovative tool that conducts non-invasive network scanning on sensitive ICS systems

Before a security strategy can be effectively planned and implemented, it is important to have a good understanding of what you are trying to protect. At a basic level this first involves taking an inventory of the assets that will be under the jurisdiction of the security strategy. However, creating that inventory can in reality be an involving and invasive task.

The traditional approach to this problem involves conducting network scans and manual inspections of the sites to identify the existence of assets. This can be a resource intensive task and, for sensitive or heavily loaded networks, can potentially cause disruption to normal work activities.

Our experience indicated that in many situations the threat of disruption was unacceptable and an alternative means of mapping networks was required, a passive solution that did not require interaction with networks or systems was desirable. This requirement is especially true for Industrial Control Systems (ICS) where network scanning may cause devices to become unresponsive or reset.

With this in mind, Project Vision was created with the aim of producing an un-invasive, safe system mapping solution. As a clean-sheet exercise we investigated alternate sources of information and intelligent ways of collating information to produce meaningful output formats for our clients. An example development output is provided below:

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Project Vision demonstrating visualisation of network hosts, detected ports and traffic activity to internal and external addresses based on multiple information sources.

Project Vision is being developed to make use of system diagrams, passive network captures, active network scans where permissible and other, novel information sources. Our work has proven the concept is viable and development is now continuing to produce; additional input, information processing and output modules to expand the capabilities of Project Vision. Although project vision is primarily aimed at ICS it can also be employed for enterprise networks and adapted to suit non IP based communication links as required.



Accreditations & Certificates

MWR is an accredited member of The Cyber Security Incident Response Scheme (CSIR) approved by CREST (Council of Registered Ethical Security Testers).
MWR is certified under the Cyber Incident Response (CIR) scheme to deal with sophisticated targeted attacks against networks of national significance.
We are certified to comply with ISO 9001 and 14001 in the UK, internationally accepted standards that outline how to put an effective quality and environmental management systems in place.
MWR is certified to comply with ISO 27001 to help ensure our client information is managed securely.
As an Approved Scanning Vendor MWR is approved by PCI SSC to conduct external vulnerability scanning services to PCI DSS Requirement 11.2.2.
We are members of the Council of Registered Ethical Security Testers (CREST), an organisation serving the needs of the information security sector.
MWR is a supplier to the Crown Commercial Service (CCS), which provides commercial and procurement services to the UK public sector.
MWR is a Qualified Security Assessor, meaning we have been qualified by PCI to validate other organisation's adherence to PCI DSS.
As members of CHECK we are measured against high standards set by NCSC for the services we provide to Her Majesty's Government.
MWR’s consultants hold Certified Simulated Attack Manager (CCSAM) and Certified Simulated Attack Specialist (CCSAS) qualifications and are authorized by CREST to perform STAR penetration testing services.