Wednesday, September 02, 2009

SCADA Watch: DHS Needs to Plug Some Cyber Security Holes, Audit Finds

Alice Lipowicz writes on

The Homeland Security Department is should improve its cybersecurity programs for some major control systems, according to a new report [.pdf] from DHS Inspector General Richard Skinner.

The control systems, which operate primarily in power plants, factories and utilities, are a vital part of the nation’s critical infrastructure. In recent years control systems increasingly have become networked and linked with other information technology systems including the Internet. As a result, the control systems are vulnerable to cyber threats, the IG said.

DHS’ National Cyber Security Division (NCSD) has been coordinating public and private efforts for cybersecurity in control systems. It also conducts training. Although that division has made progress, there are still gaps in control system cybersecurity, according to the IG's report published Sept. 1.

Skinner said the division needs to do more to encourage information sharing between the public and private sectors on needs, threats and vulnerabilities that affect control systems; conduct more vulnerability assessments performed on control systems; deploy better performance measures; and initiate an expanded program for education, training and awareness.

More here.


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