Honeywell has engaged iTrust in an R&D project to create a platform utilising blockchain technology to ensure data in operational technology (OT) systems are tamper proof. The motivation for this project arises from the following problem statement:

(a) In the event of a cyber-attack, if the central log repository is down, responders are unable to trace the actions resulting in delayed investigations
(b) In the event of an insider attack, actions performed can be erased or altered and hence forensic investigation becomes more difficult.

This 3-month project will record important transactions in an OT system on the blockchain. Doing so helps create a non-repudiation audit trail, which is especially important when operators issue tracing and validating commands during a forensic investigation. Information such as command issue, time, operator name, source IP, destination IP and status of command could be hashed and stored in the blockchain. The blockchain’s immutable property ensures that such information cannot easily be tampered with unknowingly.

Research Assistant Aung Maw, whose patented technology ICS:BlockOps clinched the top prize in last year’s Asian ICT Awards, will work with Honeywell researchers to develop this platform.