IT versus Control Systems…a word from a “recovering IT person”

Over on SoundOFF! Walt's posted a thought provoking piece by Wurldtech's Bryan Singer, who is also chair of SP99. Singer, who started out as an IT person, has made his bones in automation, and talks about why he agrees with Walt that process security is different. Read the whole post here. Joe Weiss

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  • A very direct and common sense approach to the effects of not understanding the problem before implementing the solution. The process of implementing security is not different, but rather the ways that security must be implemented are in direct relation to the types of systems being accessed and used. Process control systems are of three types: Automated (ACS) - being that they are truly autonomous whether they have reporting capabilites or not; Distributed (DCS) - being that they can have outside input by set points, but are still basically self directing; and SCADA - which is a control level system driving data to and gathering data from both ACS and DCS types systems. It is the security relationships between these three kinds of systems that is poorly understood by most people. It is further complicated when SCADA systems communicate with other SCADA systems either within the same company or between companies or entities.

    But I digress, and suggest that before moving into the complex it is necessary to fully undertand and appreciate the simple constructs afforded by most ACS and DCS systems.

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