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Industrial Control Systems Security: The Owner-Operator’s Challenge

By Eric C. Cosman, The Dow Chemical Company |

Ensuring the security of industrial control systems (ICS) can be a daunting and complex task, requiring expertise and experience in several areas from a variety of contributors. The rapid pace of improvements to both technology and practice adds to the challenge. Finally, the amount and complexity of information, guidance and advice that is available can easily become overwhelming. Rather than focusing on the details about security products and technology, an approach from an engineering perspective is necessary — concentrating first on why security is important, and then moving on to the roles and responsibilities involved in an effective response. This article provides practical guidance on how to address this challenge. While the ultimate accountability for the security of these systems lies with the owner-operator, successfully addressing the subject requires a collaborative approach that includes contributions from several stakeholders. Understanding, agreeing on and coordinating the respective responsibilities of these contributors is actually more important than any specific technology or method. While accountable, the owner-operator need not feel alone. Specific responsibilities can be assigned or delegated to others who…
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