The Industrial Control System Information Sharing and Analysis Center (ICS-ISAC) — the Private/Public center for knowledge sharing regarding Industrial Control System (ICS) cybersecurity – announced it has formed an agreement to merge with Webster University’s Cyberspace Research Institute (CRI). The Institute is a global research and learning environment for fostering advancement in and understanding of the nature of cyberspace and its impact on the human condition.
With more than 60 campuses in 30 US cities and military bases along with international presence in 8 countries, Webster provides a robust platform and substantial infrastructure that allows the ICS-ISAC to more fully achieve its mission.
The ISAC structure is defined under Homeland Security Presidential Decision 7 (HSPD-7). The ISACs operate in vertical industry segments such as electricty, water and surface transportation, or as horizontal organizations such as the multi-state ISAC or IT-ISAC. ICS-ISAC is a horizontal ISAC with a mission to capture and transport critical cybersecurity information between vertical ISACs and impacted parties.
Industrial control systems are the electronic systems used to operate physical processes ranging from power generation and distribution to building operations, healthcare, transportation, manufacturing and agriculture. The United States Department of Homeland Security segments national Critical Infrastructure and Key Resources (CIKR) into 18 sectors, each of which relies on the safe operation of Industrial Control Systems.
ICS-ISAC was established by ICS Cybersecurity, Inc. with the support of industry organizations including Amor Group, IBM, SAIC, Yokogawa, Invensys, Emerson and others.
ICS-ISAC works to create a community of communities as part of achieving its mission. The center’s membership consists of not only asset owners but the vendors, integrators, industry associations and other organizations who can work together to share knowledge with and from broader constituent groups.
ICS-ISAC creates and maintains the Situational Awareness Reference Architecture (SARA) to foster knowledge sharing capabilities. SARA is a compilation of industry standards, technical practices and processes designed to enable situational awareness both at industrial facilities as well as across shared infrastructure.
All up to date ICS-ISAC members receive membership in the CRI.
Benefits to ICS-ISAC members include:
- ICS-ISAC members now have access to the full resources of the CRI, including research opportunities and use of laboratories;
- Webster University provides a range of workforce development opportunities which ICS-ISAC members can utilize to achieve their goals;
- The ICS-ISAC is working with Webster University to create multiple Information Sharing and Analysis Organizations (ISAOs, a superset which includes existing ISACs). The Insurance Industry ISAO (INS-ISAO) is the first of these and will be followed by others; and
- Webster is currently in the process of drafting a proposal to establish the ISAO Standards Organization (ISAO SO) and we welcome all ICS-ISAC members to participate in this effort.