Cybersecurity

ICS-CERT assessments on the rise

Shutterstock image (by dencg): digital warning sign.

Compared with last year, the overall number of visits federal cybersecurity experts have made to critical infrastructure providers is up significantly, according to DHS’ cybersecurity response team records.

Industrial Control System-Computer Emergency Response Teams (ICS-CERT) made a total of 35 onsite cybersecurity assessments across the 16 critical infrastructure sectors between May and June of 2017, according to the organization's bimonthly newsletter on its activities. In the same period in 2016, ICS-CERT reported it made a total of 21 visits to critical infrastructure providers.

The reports were part of the May-June ICS-CERT Monitor issued by the Department of Homeland Security’s National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center.

ICS-CERT provides onsite cybersecurity assessments of ICS providers’ facilities at the providers’ request. Those requests for visits can be precautionary or in response to an actual cybersecurity incident.

Of the 34 onsite assessments in across five of the 16 sectors, ICS said 11 were for its Cyber Security Evaluation Tool assessments, 13 were design architecture review assessments and 10 were network architecture verification and validation.

The energy sector saw eight visits in June 2017, compared to none in the same period of 2016, according to the reports. The dams sector saw six visits in June 2017, but also saw none in the same period in 2016.

The water and wastewater sector saw sustained visits with nine in May and six in June of 2017. In 2016, that sector saw seven visits in May and four in June, according to the reports.

About the Author

Mark Rockwell is a senior staff writer at FCW, whose beat focuses on acquisition, the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Energy.

Before joining FCW, Rockwell was Washington correspondent for Government Security News, where he covered all aspects of homeland security from IT to detection dogs and border security. Over the last 25 years in Washington as a reporter, editor and correspondent, he has covered an increasingly wide array of high-tech issues for publications like Communications Week, Internet Week, Fiber Optics News, tele.com magazine and Wireless Week.

Rockwell received a Jesse H. Neal Award for his work covering telecommunications issues, and is a graduate of James Madison University.

Click here for previous articles by Rockwell. Contact him at mrockwell@fcw.com or follow him on Twitter at @MRockwell4.


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