How A Process Works

Understanding Industrial Process Control Buried among the design blue prints and volumes of handbooks, there are two documents of great significance to anyone who cares about ICS security. The names may be slightly different than what I’m calling them here, but the concept is the same. First is the Process Description. It is an overview […]

Beyond Risk Assessment

Understanding Industrial Security Before computer security was a thing, there was Industrial Security. It was primarily physical: Guards, Gates, Guns. The guards would periodically patrol the fence to ensure that there were no holes or evidence of tampering. They had guns to ward off direct attacks and to enforce policy within the plant. They would […]

Budget of ICS Security: Where is the ROI?

How Much to Budget? Many are flummoxed when working on budgets such as ICS Security. Security contains many aspects that are actually routine activities that we should be doing anyway, that actually do have an ROI. If a few minor improvements are made, it can be integrated in to security. Inventory For example, go to […]

Risk Assessments Are Not

The problem with discussing risk on a SCADA/ICS network, especially the way that most security guidelines describe it, is that it isn’t a linear function. In other words, the risk of A happening, B happening, and C happening is not A times B times C. That might be true with safety, but it is definitely […]

Succession Planning

After 31 years at the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission (WSSC) I’m eligible to retire. I will be starting a new position at Jacobs Engineering next month. My kids are looking at colleges and frankly, I need the money. I would happily stay with WSSC if I could afford to, but I can’t. In case you […]

Fun with Fiber Optics

I was swapping out a router today. Our old ones have served us long and well, but the vendor is no longer supporting them as they used to. We also had some creatures that I wanted to get rid of. On the wall in the telecommunications shelter there were three cheap 100Base-FX to 100BaseT converters, […]

SCADA as a Service in the Cloud

As I have pointed out earlier, infrastructure should not become reliant upon other infrastructure. The reason is to avoid common failure modes and to make restoral more straightforward and less inter-reliant. This is why I have been looking at the SCADA-as-a-Service (SaaS) and Cloud SCADA with great skepticism. Let’s start with some obvious questions. Are […]