Tuesday 13 October 2009

Cybersafe training

First research project aimed at improving industrial cyber security
Training & education for automation professionals

In an announcement earlier this month Wurldtech™ Security Technologies, a leading provider of industrial cyber security testing and certification solutions for critical infrastructure industries, and steward of the newly created industrial cyber security research institute, revealed the first research project designed to help improve cyber security education and awareness amongst IT and automation professionals working in the energy industry. This will be the first in a series of online learning courses developed and approved by end-users and delivered through the centre’s information sharing exchange and online knowledge portal.

A standardized cyber security training program designed for control and automation engineers is a great need in Shell and likely a ubiquitous one with any operators of industrial control systems” said Ted Angevaare, Global Technology Leader Process Automation with Shell Global Solutions. "One of the biggest problems we encounter is that staff on site do not recognize security incidents or recognize them too late because they are not familiar with common cyber security concepts and best practices. This training program has been designed to reduce this risk across disciplines within asset-owners and Shell is pleased to contribute and will be encouraging our partners in the oil & gas sector to do so as well.”

The first project will see the development of an online training and workplace learning program designed to improve general industrial cyber security awareness about key concepts and best practices in order to bridge the divide between IT and automation professionals. With one of the most pervasive cyber security challenges today being the information / communication gap between IT and control resulting from disjointed corporate structures, cultural differences and general attrition in the energy sector, this training program will provide a standardized awareness for old and new employees alike at level accessible to a wide audience. The training program will be delivered through the centre’s online knowledge portal and has six distinct value propositions for the community:

End User Driven Content: The entire process, from subject matter content to the delivery model has been designed with large energy industry members from the electric power and oil & gas sectors. This ensures alignment to actual need and eliminates vested interests by third parties (vendors, consultants, and government agencies) which typically results in unnecessary delays and reduced overall value.

Selected, Endorsed & Supported By Leading Energy Companies:
The training program has already been selected to replace the existing staff security training courses at some of the world’s largest energy stakeholders.

Functional Cyber Security Certification Alignment: The training aligns with the Achilles Cyber Security Certification Program - which provides cyber security benchmarks for company processes and products in line with emerging standards such as ISA SP99. This provides organisations with an additional level of assurance that the training their employees receive fits into a functional security paradigm consistent amongst all stakeholders (Vendors, Integrators and Operators) and share a common vernacular.

Improved Business Model: Many cyber security training programs exist but are difficult to find and even more difficult to administer, manage and track. This program is designed with rigorous course content complete with required pass/fail criteria and delivered through a web-based knowledge portal which automatically manages both individual and group progress, student statistics, and provides company wide results in easy to use executive dashboards.

Regulatory Requirements Alignment: The training program is designed to satisfy current and emerging standards and regulatory requirements such as NERC CIP 004.

Free For Centre Members:
If your organization is an funding member, then the course will be offered online to your company free of charge with unlimited access.

Office thief cartoon above right by michael molenda seen on domesticatingIT blog Top 5 No-Cost Cyber Security Practices

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