The OT paradigm is broken technically and culturally – it must be fixed

On January 26, 2022. it became evident that the OT paradigm is broken. December 29th, the article was published that more than 3,000 smart instruments in a petrochemical facility had no passwords, even by default. January 21st, SAE/MITRE held a meeting on hardware vulnerability disclosures where IOT and ICS were not addressed including for sensors […]

Control System Cyber Incidents Are Real and Current Prevention and Mitigation Strategies Are Not Working

There have been almost 12 million control system cyber incidents globally across all sectors resulting in more than 1,500 deaths, and more than $90 Billion USD directly damage. Our article, “Control System Cyber Incidents Are Real—and Current Prevention and Mitigation Strategies Are Not Working”, has been published in the January issue of IEEE Computer magazine. […]

Cross industry meeting to address the gap in process sensor cyber security and process safety

A virtual cross-industry meeting was held on January 5th, 2022 under the purview of IEEE, with universities and standards development and industry organizations representing a cross-section of critical infrastructures. Essentially, “a coalition of the willing”. As process sensors are used in all sectors, the intent of the meeting was to create outcomes and a way […]

There’s more to control system cybersecurity than IT and OT networks – TSA is missing that distinction

Control system cyber incidents affecting pipelines, rail, and aviation have caused catastrophic damage resulting in multi-billion-dollar impacts and hundreds of deaths. Detecting cyberattacks against IT and OT networks can be done today. However, the same cannot be said for detecting control system cyber incidents (attacks and unintentional incidents) that occur with the cyber insecure control […]

Power grid cyber security recommendations still don’t address key grid cyber vulnerabilities

In August 2021, DNV published DNV-RP-0575, “Recommended Practice, Cyber security for power grid protection devices”. The Recommended Practice is important as it was developed based on the results of a joint research and development project with Fingrid (Finland), Stattnet SF (Norway), and Svenska Kraftnet (Sweden) and used by T&D India following the Chinese cyberattacks. The […]

The utilities are not addressing the cyber security that will keep lights on

On November 16-17, 2021 the utility industry conducted its biennial grid security exercise – GridEx VI. The exercise addressed the hybridized attacks of IT and OT networks which included ransomware as well as physical security. The lack of cybersecurity in the grid’s process sensors is a common mode vulnerability that affects both situational awareness and incident […]

Addressing Chinese-made equipment in the electric industry – a success story

Monday, November 15, 2021 a public utility commission in a hearing on a major new transmission project referenced my blog on the DNI report on Chinese-made transformers, in a question to the utility. In response, the utility stated they would not be using Chinese-made transformers in this project. I consider that to be a […]

The gaps preventing cyber securing physical infrastructures

Physical infrastructures are monitored and controlled using instrumentation and control systems. Instrumentation monitors the processes and control systems control the physics. I have not used the term “critical infrastructure” as these issues apply to any physical infrastructure. Yet, instrumentation and the physics of the processes are often ignored as the focus of security experts is […]

DNI identifies Chinese transformers as cyber vulnerable risks yet DOE and industry ignore the threat

A DNI National Intelligence Estimate states: “Deployment of utility-scale solar and wind technologies in remote areas is likely to require ultra-high-voltage transmission lines to move the power to cities. China is the world’s leading supplier of advanced grid components for ultrahigh-voltage systems, such as transformers, circuit breakers, and inverters, which we assess creates cyber vulnerability […]

Comments to the US Secretary of Energy’s Advisory Board on lack of process sensor cyber security

October 28, 2021, I gave a presentation to the US Secretary of Energy’s Advisory Board (SEAB) on the need for process sensor monitoring. The SEAB meeting can be found at as well as my prepared presentation. My short presentation is at approximately the 1 Hour 20-minute timeframe. In the SEAB meeting, DOE was looking […]