Advanced industrial cybersecurity

Course aims at protecting industrial networks and control systems,

It was that well known and respected Automation commentator Walt Boyes who said after the 2011 Automation Week in Mobile (AL USA) that what the International Society of Automation (ISA) does best is “…leverage the strength and capabilites of the volunteers and ISA members to do….red hot symposia– with allied training…” Today we learn of a new and extremely relevant topic been added to their comprehensive portfolio of training and education programme.

The ISA has just introduced a new, upper-level course, Advanced Industrial Cybersecurity (TS13).

Other Relevant Courses from ISA’s stable of courses:
Cyber Security for Automation, Control, and SCADA Systems (IC32E)
Database Management for Industrial Automation and Control Systems (EA05)
Introduction to Industrial Automation Security and the ANSI/ISA99 (IEC 62443) Standards (IC32C)

This technical training course capitalises on ISA’s well-established, in-depth knowledge of industrial networks and applications, and cybersecurity standards that detect, assess and prevent security threats in industrial settings.

Students can learn how the ANSI/ISA99 (IEC 62443) Industrial Automation and Control Systems Security standards—developed by a cross-section of international cybersecurity subject-matter experts from industry, government and academia—provide comprehensive cybersecurity capabilities in all industry sectors.

Given the interconnectivity of today’s advanced computer and control networks—where vulnerabilities exploited in one sector can impact and damage multiple sectors—the ANSI/ISA99 (IEC 62443) standards are particularly effective since they are broadly applicable across industries.

“In today’s industrial production environments, the risks of cyberwarfare are growing and represent serious threats,” says Larry Thompson, an industrial network and control systems consultant and ISA Certified Automation Professional® (CAP®), who developed this new course. “There have been many serious cyberattacks throughout the world. Everyone involved in system-wide industrial networking and SCADA systems should take this course. The stakes are simply too high to not be prepared.”

The course covers the latest developments in cybersecurity, including practical guides to the design, implementation and testing of industrial networks and applications to ensure their security and reliability. Topics include the use of Internet technologies, web servers, TCP/IPV6, fiber optics, intrusion protection systems (IPS), virtual private networks (VPNs), firewall configuration and cryptography.

“This is a great class with an excellent instructor,” commented one student, Chih Shen. “I am more sober to the attack scenarios out there in the wild, and more confident that I have the knowledge to defend against them.”

Lawrence Thompson is author of an ISA Best Seller

Lawrence Thompson is author of an ISA Best Seller

As part of the course, students participate in a variety of hands-on laboratory exercises, which include configuring industrial network security parameters and settings, utilizing security diagnostic tools and employing various troubleshooting tactics.

In developing the course, Thompson drew upon his vast experience in industrial data communications and encryption. Throughout his many years in automation, Thompson has served as a technician, technical trainer, test engineer, test engineering supervisor and course developer in electronics, measurement and control and computer networking.

He served 20 years in the American Air Force, most of which studying, instructing and installing electronic encryption equipment. He became department chair of e-commerce technology at Texas State Technical College, eventually leaving the role to pursue his consulting business.

He has designed and taught ISA courses for more than 23 years, serving as an adjunct ISA instructor and author of several ISA books. His book, Industrial Data Communications, is an ISA best seller currently in its fourth edition.

Thompson received a bachelor in applied arts and sciences degree from Tarleton State University, and has conducted work on a master’s degree in computer science from the University of Texas.

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