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SANS ICS and SCADA security training

May 2015 by Marc Jacob

Directly following and in support of the International Atomic Energy Agency upcoming International Conference on Computer Security in a Nuclear World, the SANS Institute will be running its recently updated ICS410: ICS/SCADA Security Essentials course in Vienna.

The course intersects with the IAEA event that will receive representatives from the energy sector and International Criminal Police Organisation – INTERPOL, International Telecommunication Union (ITU), United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute (UNICRI) and International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC).

“The energy sector has experienced real world cyber-attacks in the last few years that have led to significant damage which has sharpened the focus around information and computer security best practice,” says Graham Speake, SANS Instructor and Vice President and Chief Product Architect at NexDefense. Speake, a recognised expert in the field of ICS and SCADA security with over 30 years’ experience was Principal Systems Architect for Yokogawa Electric Corporation, ISCI Marketing Chair, and an IEC62443 editor.

“Much of the ICS and SCADA based systems within energy are over 10 years old and don’t get upgraded often, which leaves the technology susceptible to cyber-attack and potentially worse, a sense of complacency within operators,” says Speake who also spent over a decade at BP looking at control systems security in both upstream and downstream business areas.

The ICS410: ICS/SCADA Security Essentials course has been updated to provide a foundational set of standardised skills and knowledge for industrial cybersecurity professionals. The course is designed to ensure that the workforce involved in supporting and defending industrial control systems is trained to keep the operational environment safe, secure, and resilient against current and emerging cyber threats.

“One of the areas that has undergone some changes is the incident response exercise that we run during the course that has been updated to reflect the types of attacks that we are seeing more commonly out in the wild,” says Speake, “It is also worth noting that the course is attracting more students from outside of energy including other national infrastructure providers as well as manufacturing who often rely on similar systems and protocols.”

The course also aims to support the IAEA efforts to raise awareness of the growing threat of cyber attacks and their potential impact on nuclear security, and its ongoing efforts to foster international cooperation and to assist the States in this area through the establishment of appropriate guidance, and by providing for its application.

“The IAEA efforts should be applauded but with few country level Infosecurity regulations; it is vital that organisations and suppliers to CNI take a lead in training staff, implementing best practice and keeping pace with the threat landscape,” Speake adds.

The course runs from Saturday June 6th to Wednesday June 10th and is hosted in the Melia Vienna Hotel. ICS410 is also recommended preparation for the globally recognised GICSP Certification (Global Industrial Cyber Security Practitioner) from GIAC and reduced certification attempt price is available for all students attending the training.

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