Annual Computer Security Applications Conference (ACSAC) 2013

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Panel: A High Assurance Reference Architecture for Industrial and Process Control Systems

Wednesday, 11 December 2013
13:30 - 15:00

DH Holmes B

Moderator: Dr. Blaine Burnham (USC)



Industrial Control systems (ISC) form the nervous system of the strategic industries that provide us with most of the necessities of our daily lives. The ISCs are the hidden control and process components of the industries that: assure clean water, electricity on demand, supply the fuel for power plants, make and destribute all sorts of products, gasoline, home heating oil, natural gas, be a kind of. The combination of the ISC and the physical plant that the ISC controls and manages in often referred to and the cyber-physical domain (CPD) There are a number of quirky aspects to the CPD to include: very long lifetimes, tendencies to not mess with it when it is finally tuned and working, and for a very long time enjoyed the security provided by an air gap architecture. All there aspects are passing through extensive revision more or less simultaneously. The systems are being connected to the "front office" systems to enable the enterprise to better participate in market driven behaviors, control and management of the CPD through the ISC is now being interconnected with various internet services. A connection that was never anticipated when the systems were first developed and installed. The very long lifetimes and all this new connectivity and several other events has results in putting our CFD / ISC in a harms way. A threat for which they were never intended / designed to experience. At this critical juncture, it is reasonable to ask ourselves: what needs to be done, is there near term set of activities that could lead to a path that leads to a strategic re-evaluation of the direction / guidance for the development of next generation of ISC and is /are there technologies / processes / regulatory incentives that could enable fundamental thinking about the security needs for the CFD and possibility obviate whole classes of threats to our critical infrastructures. This panel, in the available time will bring their unique perspectives to this dialogue.


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