Industrial Control Systems cybersecurity discussions often spill over from trade press to mainstream media. An incident in a large plant leads to economic and human consequences drawing interest from the big media companies.
A company called NexDefense formed an ICS Cybersecurity Fellows Program. Together with NexDefense, the Fellows will help educate and raise awareness of contemporary cybersecurity issues facing industry’s critical control systems that tirelessly operate in critical infrastructure facilities around the world.
In addition, Eric Byres, co-founder and former chief technology officer of Tofino Security (acquired by Belden Inc. in 2011) and leading expert in the field of process control and SCADA system cybersecurity, joins NexDefense as a strategic technology advisor and Senior Fellow to help further develop the company’s technology offerings and raise the attention level of cyber risks affecting industry.
“The NexDefense Industrial Cybersecurity Fellows Program assembles highly recognizable and well respected industrial security practitioners, consultants and advisors and allows each to speak as part of a larger cohesive unit,” said Doug Wylie, CISSP, vice president product marketing and strategy at NexDefense. “We are privileged to bring together some of the great cybersecurity minds of industry, each of whom share a common objective with NexDefense to expand business and community visibility and recognition of important security trends, emerging risks and techniques that can help to counteract threats to the safety and operational integrity of many industrial control systems.”
Members of the NexDefense Fellows Program will independently share their professional perspectives on security topics relevant to the ICS industry, including how security risks to industrial control systems can be reduced or avoided altogether through whitepapers, articles, blogs, social media and speaking engagements sponsored by NexDefense.
Joining the Fellows program are four highly reputable industrial cybersecurity authorities, each of whom continue to have a positive and meaningful affect on industry and provide control system owners and operators and the public at large with expert perspectives on cybersecurity for automation and control systems:
Eric Byres, SCADA and ICS Security Product Visionary, President Byres Security Consulting, ISA Fellow, Co-Founder and former CTO of Tofino Security—“Every digital system on which we depend has become an integral part of our connected world. This is especially true for the many industrial control systems (ICS) that produce power, move clean water and manufacture goods. The NexDefense Fellows Program will serve as a useful outlet to discuss the positive and negative consequences of today’s hyper-connectivity to these critical systems.” Eric added, “In my role as NexDefense Strategic Technical Advisor and Senior Fellow, I look forward to working closely with the team to address industry-wide security challenges with innovative solutions that can have a valuable effect on reliability, safety and productivity of control systems.”
Michael Chipley, PhD., President, The PMC Group, consultant and respected contributor to NIST cybersecurity guidelines and best practices including the Cybersecurity Framework and SP 800-82 R2—“Connected devices are at the core of building automation subsystems that provide services such as fire and physical security protection, heating and ventilation and automated lighting control, all of which are actively converging with business enterprise and industrial control systems. Cybersecurity as it relates to systems-of-systems is a topic that increasingly affects everyone and commands greater visibility with the public.”
Eric Cornelius, Director of Critical Infrastructure and Industrial Control Systems (ICS), Cylance, previously Deputy Director, Control Systems Security Program, US Department of Homeland Security (DHS)—“Electronic Perimeters alone cannot adequately protect control systems from attackers intent on stealing data, damaging equipment, or compromising the process itself. The NexDefense Fellows program will help open up discussions on security issues to more people from industry, raising awareness of what can be done to better protect people and processes from harm.”
Bryan Singer, Principal Investigator, Kenexis Consulting Corporation, and former Chairman ISA99—“The most successful industrial automation risk management programs are built on a foundation that recognizes safety and security are inextricably linked. While only a few companies have truly embraced this philosophy to date, others are still struggling with where to start. NexDefense’s Cybersecurity Fellows program will be a valuable opportunity to share and discuss risk management concepts like this with a broader audience.”
Each NexDefense Fellow will deliver their messages through a variety of mediums, with the intention to reach the public and private sectors and raise security awareness about the importance of expanded investment in the design, operation and maintenance of critical control systems around the world.