How is sustaining security like keeping your home clean?

Matt Luallen and Steve Hamburg of Encari (a critical infrastructure information security consulting company), recently commented on their blog at www.controleng.com about their recent work in helping NERC-registered entities (e.g., power generation and transmission companies) address their respective NERC CIP Reliability Standards compliance concerns.

12/01/2009


Matt Luallen and Steve Hamburg of Encari (a critical infrastructure information security consulting company), recently commented on their blog at www.controleng.com about their recent work in helping NERC-registered entities (e.g., power generation and transmission companies) address their respective NERC CIP Reliability Standards compliance concerns. Regardless of whether your organization is subject to these NERC requirements, Matt and Steve maintain that it is important to recognize that focusing your security strategy on a phenomenon they call “point-in-time security” is not viable. Here's what they had to say about the issue:

“Point-in-time security refers to the state of your security posture at that point in time. A viable security strategy needs to focus on sustainable security, or, in the context of compliance, sustainable compliance.

“This is where the analogy to keeping your home clean comes in. Let's say you recently decided to embark upon a 'clean home sustainment strategy.' Ignoring your peers, colleagues, and friends calling you crazy for doing so, think about the challenges associated with pursuing such a strategy. Think about what happens after your home has reached its optimal point-in-time state of cleanliness. What happens if you do not clean the dishes in the kitchen after a day or a week? What happens if you do not do your family's laundry after a few days or a week? What happens if you do not clean out your gutters after a few months?

“Now apply this thought process to your security posture. You may have the greatest change control and configuration management process in the world. However, think about the compromised posture of your security if this process were not maintained multiple times every day. What about your information protection plan, your patch management process, your corporate security policies, standards, processes and procedures, your testing, development (i.e., non-production environment) and production environments, your recruitment processes, your identity and access management processes, etc.?

“So, the point we're making here is do not think in terms of point-in-time security. In order to sustain desired compliance and/or a desired state of security, applicable security considerations must be met on a recurring basis indefinitely.”

To read more of Matt and Steve's posts, go to www.controleng.com , click on the “Blogs” link at top of page and scroll down to Industrial Cyber Security.





No comments
The Engineers' Choice Awards highlight some of the best new control, instrumentation and automation products as chosen by...
The System Integrator Giants program lists the top 100 system integrators among companies listed in CFE Media's Global System Integrator Database.
The Engineering Leaders Under 40 program identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
This eGuide illustrates solutions, applications and benefits of machine vision systems.
Learn how to increase device reliability in harsh environments and decrease unplanned system downtime.
This eGuide contains a series of articles and videos that considers theoretical and practical; immediate needs and a look into the future.
Save energy with automation; Process control system upgrades; Dispelling controll myths; Time-sensitive networking; Control system integration; Road to IANA
Additive manufacturing advancements; Machine vision enhances robotics; Fieldbus evolution; Process safety; Advice from System Integrators of the Year; Road to IANA
Salary and career survey: Benchmarks and advice; Designing controls; Remote data collection, historians; Control valve advances; Hannover Messe; Control Engineering International
This article collection contains several articles on the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and how it is transforming manufacturing.

Find and connect with the most suitable service provider for your unique application. Start searching the Global System Integrator Database Now!

The digital oilfield: Utilizing Big Data can yield big savings; Virtualization a real solution; Tracking SIS performance
Getting to the bottom of subsea repairs: Older pipelines need more attention, and operators need a repair strategy; OTC preview; Offshore production difficult - and crucial
Digital oilfields: Integrated HMI/SCADA systems enable smarter data acquisition; Real-world impact of simulation; Electric actuator technology prospers in production fields
click me