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

Don’t Lose Sight of the Forest for the Trees

In a recent interview with Chemical Processing magazine, I was asked about complying with alarm management standards such as ISA 18.2 and IEC 62682. I emphasized the obvious importance of complying with these standards. With compliance a given, we must guard against missing the forest for the trees. Striving for improved Operator Effectiveness (the forest) is the greater goal and focusing strictly on... Read more

A Tale of Two Lines

Change is part of daily industrial operations. Detecting a change and assessing the validity of that change are critical to effective ICS cybersecurity. Let’s say, for instance, that two lines have been removed from an SIS configuration file. Now let’s say this change blinds the operator to the availability of the SIS.How will you know this configuration change occurred? This particular change happens deep... Read more

Are We Chasing Our Tail?

Recent security alerts say your car isn’t secure and can be remotely controlled. Your house isn’t secure and can let the bad guys unlock the doors. Your watch isn’t secure and can let your confidential information out. Where does this end?As anyone in the security world will tell you, there is no such thing as a completely secure system. There are just levels of... Read more

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