New industrial cyber security video training series

Learn the basics of industrial cyber security concepts in this 13-part series with Matt Luallen, consultant, trainer, and author. Watch one segment as a free sample.


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Part 4 of the series, discussing why security is important.

Matt Luallen is a cyber security consultant, trainer, and frequent contributor to Control Engineering.This new industrial cyber security video training series provides a practical approach to the basic concepts of security for plant-floor networks. With the growing use of Ethernet and Internet connectivity with industrial networks, the opportunities for cyber criminals to invade your systems have grown by leaps and bounds. Luallen begins with the nature of cyber threats, considers why security is important, simulates an attack, offers defensive strategies, and ongoing practices for safer systems.

This program is aimed primarily at users coming from the industrial side who are responsible for plant-floor networks. Its basic training can provide a general strategic direction for practitioners, plus it can serve as a foundation for more advanced instruction. When using the videos in combination with corresponding quizzes, you can receive PDHs for continuing education. Segment 4 is available above as a free sample.

Series presenter Matthew E. Luallen is co-founder and president of Cybati, a critical infrastructure and control system cyber security awareness and education company. Matt has written, consulted, and trained extensively on process control and SCADA security issues. He continues to work with electric utilities throughout the U.S. and Canada on implementation of NERC CIP reliability standards. Prior to incorporating Cybati, Matt was a co-founder of Encari and still serves as the president of Sph3r3. He also served as an information security network engineer and architect at Argonne National Laboratory.

Matt holds a bachelors degree in industrial engineering from the University of Illinois-Urbana, and a masters degree in computer science from National Technological University. He serves as adjunct faculty for DePaul University's capstone cyber security and control system courses, as an 13-year CCIE and certified instructor for Cisco Systems, and as a certified instructor for the SANS Institute. He is also the author of a new hands-on, control system cyber security course promoted by Cybati. 

Series program

1. Technology Review—A very fast paced look at many types of hardware and software involved in security efforts, including keyboard sniffers, Ethernet routers, smart phones, and all sorts of common network devices. It may seem a bit overwhelming, but the discussion aims at giving you the huge variety of things you may have to work with.

2. Common Exposures—What are the ways that cyber criminals get into industrial networks? How can you find the vulnerabilities in your systems? There are all sorts of entrance strategies that hackers use. Once you understand these, you can begin to formulate defenses. It may be something as simple as selling a used PLC on eBay.

3. Understanding OSINT—Open source intelligence and social engineering are techniques that hackers use to get information about your networks with the intent of finding weaknesses. Some are technical, but others may be efforts to get your people to create an entrance unwittingly, or get critical information via a seemingly innocent discussion over drinks.

4. Control System Cyber Security—Why is security important, and what is going on in the defensive arms race? What are the effects of intrusions? Many intrusions are relatively minor, but what is the worst case for your facility if a hacker gets past the defenses?

5. Communications Attack Example—An actual demonstration of how an attacker can get between a controller and HMI and override information moving both directions. It isn’t as difficult as you might think.

6. Defense Techniques 1—What types of security controls you should put in place, from an operational, physical, and cyber standpoint, including concepts of defense-in-depth. Your efforts have to include all these for maximum effectiveness.

7. Defense Techniques 2—How do you protect the range of devices that serve as hosts, everything from terminal units to PLCs. This process begins by identifying all those things on your networks that are cyber assets using appropriate qualification parameters.

8. Defense Techniques 3—Everything that communicates has to have a communication pathway. How do you identify those and protect them? It can be wired or wireless, and each approach has its own challenges.

9. Common Cyber Asset Security Controls—What security controls should you install on your cyber assets, both in your plant or enterprise level? Considers patches, applications, account management, threat indicators, physical access, and more.

10. Specific Control System Cyber Exposures—What are the cyber security vulnerabilities unique to industrial networking environments? Much industrial equipment is not well hardened against intrusion, so with that in mind, what can we do to reinforce our defenses?

11. Validating Vendor Security Awareness—As you work with equipment vendors, how do you analyze those companies and determine their mindset relative to security? Some companies are better than others, so how can you make that determination? A few simple questions can tell you a lot.

12. Cyber Asset Vulnerability Assessments—How do you determine where you are on the security spectrum? Without an effective plan, such an evaluation can be painfully difficult and leave you no better off. Some simple guidelines can keep you on track.

13. Cyber Security Resources—Once you’ve finished the series, here are some useful resources that can help keep your ongoing efforts focused and effective.

Total series running time, approximately 110 minutes.

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