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UK – 28th August, 2014 -Ahead of SANS’ 2014 European ICS Security Summit, significant security issues are still facing the ICS/SCADA community, “We are starting to see ICS capable threats and a series of incidents that have been specifically targeted against ICS environments,” says Michael Assante, SANS project lead for Industrial Control System (ICS) and Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) security.

“There is  now a greater ICS connectedness to business, third-party networks and cloud services that can be exploited by attackers [while the sector still] lacks integrated engineering, ICS technical and cyber security specialists to reduce the attack surface and implement monitoring and effective response capabilities,” adds Assante who was previously Vice President and Chief Security Officer of the North American Electric Reliability (NERC) Corporation, where he oversaw industry-wide implementation of cyber security standards across the continent.

In Assante’s opinion, the attacks are becoming more organised as higher profile incidents are being reported and threats discovered.  “The recent Havex trojan had an ICS module and was deployed by compromising ICS supplier webpages.  Industry will need to assign the responsibility of ICS security and develop and equip multi-discipline teams to harden their environments and develop effective security operations,” says Assante, but adds, “many are at the early stage of trying to identify all of their ICS assets and assign responsibility.”

Assante believes that governments are finally “getting their hands around the issues and the reasons why the market is driving certain behaviour” and applauds the free resources available to help develop security efforts. “More can be done in the form of shared research and resources and effectively disseminate information regarding vulnerabilities and threats,” he adds.

As theICS lead for SANS, Assante is helping to shape the upcoming SANS 2014 European ICS Security Summit taking place in Amsterdam, on September 21st and 22nd. The Summit brings together Europe’s ICS security thought leaders, researchers, and asset owners/defenders who will shed light on new threats, initiatives, and protection strategies.  Attendees will gain practical, technical skills and knowledge which can be immediately appliedto help organisations shape a viable ICS security strategy.

At the heart of the event is ICS410: ICS/SCADA Security Essentials, a 5-day training course that provides a foundational set of standardised skills and knowledge for industrial cyber security professionals. The course has evolved considerably since its creation, “The ICS410 course has always had a ‘defenders’ focus, teaching both engineers and cyber security professionals how to build an effective security program that works in the challenging application of control system technology to production environments,” says Assante, “Expert and student feedback has helped the course authors provide detailed methods and specific knowledge to help students overcome real world ICS security challenges.”

“This course is the ideal preparation for the Global Industrial Cyber Security Professional (GICSP) certification.  The GICSP is used to certify ICS security essentials for Engineering, Operating Technology and Cyber security specialists.  These are the teams and right mix of competencies that will make a difference,” Assante concludes.

For more information on SANS’ 2014 European ICS Security Summit or to register, please visit:

About SANS Institute

The SANS Institute was established in 1989 as a cooperative research and education organization. SANS is the most trusted and, by far, the largest provider of training and certification to professionals at governments and commercial institutions world-wide. Renowned SANS instructors teach over 50 different courses at more than 200 live cyber security training events as well as online. GIAC, an affiliate of the SANS Institute, validates employee qualifications via 27 hands-on, technical certifications in information security. The SANS Technology Institute, a regionally accredited independent subsidiary, offers master’s degrees in cybersecurity. SANS offers a myriad of free resources to the InfoSec community including consensus projects, research reports, and newsletters; it also operates the Internet’s early warning system–the Internet Storm Center. At the heart of SANS are the many security practitioners, representing varied global organizations from corporations to universities, working together to help the entire information security community. (


For further information contact:-
Anne Harding
The Message Machine
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