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Most recent posts by "Katherine Brocklehurst"

Strengthening the Security Posture of Critical Energy Infrastructures – Conversation with EnergySec’s New President Steve Parker
Blog Category: Industrial Security

Posted by: Katherine Brocklehurst on September 20, 2016

The SANS 2016 State of ICS Security Survey Report indicates that many of the ICS professionals who responded to the survey have new job titles such as ICS cyber security program manager, ICS security project manager, IT/OT architect and director of cyber security for building and facilities systems.

This trend indicates that industrial cyber and cyber-physical security is a rising priority and industrial companies are beginning to assign staff with ICS security responsibility. While attending the recent EnergySec 12th annual security summit held in Anaheim, California on August 22-24, I spoke to many ICS operations attendees with new job titles and security responsibilities reflecting this priority. They had come to EnergySec for information sharing and practical guidance on the security challenges they’re facing.

While there I had a chance to ask EnergySec’s new president Steve Parker a few questions about EnergySec, trends, concerns and the state of ICS security within power and energy critical infrastructures.

For those of you who may not be familiar with this non-profit organization, they are approaching 1500 members and 470 member organizations, have achieved SANS Institute awards, and a good history of their grass-roots founding over a decade ago is posted on their website.


A 1-2-3 Approach to ICS Security: Part 3- Securing Industrial Controllers
Blog Category: Industrial Security

Posted by: Katherine Brocklehurst on October 05, 2016

Risks to the control levels of industrial networks have been on the rise – and yet some ICS professionals are not aware of the kinds of vulnerabilities and weaknesses these environments often have. The SANS 2016 State of ICS Security Survey indicates attacks on their ICS is a growing concern of those surveyed.

This blog is the third part of a series expanding on industrial cyber security approaches from Belden (part 1) and Tripwire (part 2). This article will address the importance of securing industrial controllers in an ICS operations environment (also referred to as OT by some) to reduce risk.


The ICS “Subversive Six”- Unseen Risk Points in Your Industrial Networks
Blog Category: Industrial Security

Posted by: Katherine Brocklehurst on October 19, 2016

Self-described “Mr. Potatohead,” aka Sean McBride, gave a keynote address on Thursday, October 13, 2016 in Orlando, Florida at Belden’s annual Industrial Ethernet Infrastructure Design Seminar (IEIDS).

Sean is the lead analyst for critical infrastructure at iSight, specialists in securing industrial control systems (ICS) and operations environments. iSight was acquired by FireEye in January 2016. It was a privilege to hear Sean speak live – giving an exceptional keynote drawn from both his life experiences in the Idaho potato industry and from his years in forensic and analyst work to help secure critical infrastructure and industrial control systems.

To learn more about Sean’s perspective and the “Subversive Six”….


The Elephant in the Industrial Control Room: Securing Aging and Legacy Industrial Critical Infrastructure – Water & Wastewater
Blog Category: Industrial Security

Posted by: Katherine Brocklehurst on November 02, 2016

There is an elephant in the industrial infrastructure control room. Much of the equipment in use within many of the US critical infrastructure sectors is at risk of aging out while still in production use.

It was therefore no surprise when a large California city proposed funding for a new power generation and water treatment plant to increase capacity and replace aging infrastructure.
What was a surprise was that the new state-of-the-art plant was plagued with network communication problems and failing PLCs.


The Insecurity of Industrial “Things”
Blog Category: Industrial Security

Posted by: Katherine Brocklehurst on November 30, 2016

In 2016, 5.5 million connected devices are being added per day with an estimate of 20+billion internet-connected “things” running our world by 2020. Many view this future with optimism due to the increased speed, efficiency and innovation this pervasive connectedness will bring to our lifestyles.

Others find it threatening to privacy and confidentiality. Security experts worry that our dependence on connected devices is developing more quickly than our ability to secure them. For our critical infrastructure and industrial businesses, there is real concern. Here’s why…


Bring Your Work “Home for the Holidays” And help your family stay more cyber-safe while online
Blog Category: Industrial Security

Posted by: Katherine Brocklehurst on December 14, 2016

The holidays are here and warnings of prudent internet security practices abound for home systems, online shoppers and social media participants. Many of us have received workplace guidance for increasing the cyber security and safety of our ICS networks, endpoints and control systems given the ongoing cyber threat landscape.

Though you might not consider yourself particularly savvy regarding internet security, the basics you’ve learned at work may be worth applying at home during this holiday time to improve your family’s cyber safety. This blog addresses a couple of foundational controls that you can use to improve your family’s home security.


U.S. Water Utility Breach and ICS Cyber Security Lessons Learned
Blog Category: Industrial Security

Posted by: Katherine Brocklehurst on February 22, 2017

Industrial control systems (ICS) are the workhorses of our physical world, and becoming more internet-connected, more virtualized in many cases, and more remotely accessible by the day.

Security experts worry that the growing dependence on internet-connected devices is outpacing our ability to secure them. This is particularly true within industrial and critical infrastructure because cyber threats could result in physical disruption, loss of availability and even risk to public safety.

On the other hand, many ICS professionals don’t believe there is a genuine risk to plant operations. Unfortunately, that’s not what the data shows.


Is Your Industrial Cyber Defense Movie “Groundhog Day” or “Independence Day”?
Blog Category: Industrial Security

Posted by: Katherine Brocklehurst on March 29, 2017

What do the movies “Groundhog Day” and “Independence Day” have in common, and what can we learn from them related to cyber defense? Well, if you weren’t able to attend the annual RSA Conference back in February, cyber defense expert Tony Sager explained it all at the Tripwire booth. (In case you missed it, Belden acquired Tripwire in January of 2015.)

Let’s start first with “who is Tony Sager?”

That’s a fair question as many of you may be unfamiliar with Tony’s decades of work in cyber defense with the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA), the SANS Institute, and now as senior vice president and chief evangelist for CIS (formerly the Center for Internet Security).

Googling Tony won’t do his contributions to the field of cyber security justice – nor will this link at CIS on his background. However, in his talk at RSA he masterfully distilled all his years of experience into just a few key points of guidance.

Find out “what matters most” in cyber defense regardless of your industry and why Tony thinks cyber security is a lot more like the movie “Groundhog Day” than “Independence Day.”


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