Barbie Versus the Dam Hack

I was shopping on Amazon recently looking for a gift for my daughter. The choices are endless, and it seems everything has an electronic or connected element to it now. While researching dolls, I came across a news item that Barbie can now carry on a conversation with your child. The toy utilizes cloud-based speech recognition technology primarily to accomplish this feat.  All conversations are stored so that... Read more

Why Would You Use an IT Solution to Solve an OT Problem?

While automation technology has been around for decades, protecting control system assets from a set of very modern day threats is relatively new. In the face of growing risk, companies are challenged by continuously evolving best practices and standards. With this new territory, comes confusion (multiple standards, changing regulatory laws, hyped news stories) and often frustration (deciphering vendor claims and... Read more

Is Your House in Order?

A few weeks ago, an inspector visited my home as part of a refinance process. My family is good about home maintenance activities, but he did remind us to caulk and patch the exterior of our house each year. This preventative maintenance best practice protects our most valuable asset from the elements. This visit reminds me of another visit – one I recently made to a large power company. We talked at length about... Read more

Fair Warning

Headlines in the news media claim that ISIS is attempting to gain access to cyber assets that comprise the nation’s energy infrastructure. The article points out that, for now at least, there is desire, but little capability. The disparate, proprietary systems that run our nation’s power plants, refineries, and petrochemical industries take a high degree of sophistication to manipulate successfully. This... Read more

The Risk of Not Knowing

“The big problems are where people don’t realize they have one in the first place.”  – Edward Deming Deming’s observation seems obvious enough. When you apply this to ICS cybersecurity, what are the “big problems” that companies don’t realize? In the power, petrochemical, and oil & gas industries, the stakes are high. These big problems – especially ... Read more

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