Security resource: New availability for Control System Cyber Security Self Assessment Tool (CS2SAT)


The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Idaho National Labs (INL) have produced some outstanding cyber security training tools. Their distribution has not gotten much publicity, however, with the unfortunate result that they remain well kept national secrets. To change this situation, DHS and INL recently completed an agreement for the ISA Automation Standards Compliance Institute (ASCI) to distribute CS2SAT (pronounced “C-S-squared-sat”). While the name still lacks glamour, this self assessment tool is an excellent first step toward a larger security program.

Under the new agreement, the tool is distributed with a training video, online documentation, and two hours of phone support from control systems cyber security specialists to help licensees structure their self assessment approach. Using this approach can reduce the time to complete a self assessment from a few months to a few weeks. The tool does not identify all vulnerabilities, but it is extremely valuable because it highlights areas of cyber security showing the greatest risk. In addition, CS2SAT provides linkages to specific regulations such as NERC CIP that may be out of compliance, including hyperlinks to the regulatory language stored in the knowledgebase.

The DHS National Cyber Security Division developed CS2SAT to provide users with a systematic and repeatable approach for assessing the cyber-security posture of their industrial control system networks. It was developed by cyber security experts from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) National Laboratories and with assistance from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). CS2SAT was reviewed by a team of ISA control systems security experts to identify specific improvements that could enhance support for security assessments of industrial control systems. ISA recommendations are included in the current release with more to be included over time.

Marty Edwards, industry liaison lead for INL, discusses the capabilities of the tool in Control Engineering’s Webcast: Cyber Security for Industrial Networks . “The tool helps an end user company pull together a team of people to evaluate the security of their industrial control system,” he says. “This is done in an off-line manner, not intrusive to the control system. It’s important to do this as a team. Many times we’re asking risk based questions, so it’s important to have management representation, network specialists, security officers, and of course control system engineers.” Edwards added that 250 beta versions of the software have been sent to users and the new version incorporates many of their suggestions.

The CS2SAT is a desktop software tool that guides users through a step-by-step process to collect facility-specific control system information and then makes appropriate recommendations for improving the system’s cyber-security posture.

The CS2SAT provides recommendations from a database of industry available cyber-security practices, which have been adapted specifically for application to industrial control system networks and components. Each recommendation is linked to a set of actions that can be applied to remediate-specific security vulnerabilities.

The CS2SAT is designed with an underlying cyber security framework based on control-system-related federal codes, industry standards, and guidelines such as the following:

* National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) System Protection Profile, Critical Infrastructure Process Control Systems (SPP-CIPCS), Revision 1.07 (Draft);
* NIST SPP Industrial Control Systems (SPP-ICS), Revision 1.0;
* Common Criteria, ISO/IEC 15408 Versions 2.1 to 3.1;
* North American Electric Reliability Council (NERC) Critical Infrastructure Protection (CIP) Reliability Standards, CIP-002-1– CIP-009-1;
* NIST Special Publication (SP) 800 53, Recommended Security Controls for Federal Information Systems, February, 2005;
* U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) Instruction Number 8500.2, “Information Assurance (IA) Implementation,” February 6, 2003; and,
* Many other industry standards and best practices.

The tool is designed to be used by an assessment team, because the breadth and depth of questions usually exceeds the knowledge of any one individual. Having a team also allows sharing of information and clarifying security configurations among members of the organization.

—Edited by Peter Welander, process industries editor, ,
Control Engineering Weekly News

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