Henry Dalziel | Concise Courses, SCADA News and Training | March 21, 2013
Quick heads up and some important training information to share: we will be running a SCADA training course in Miami in June 2013! Miami is not new to the SCADA scene having hosted the SCADA Security Scientific Symposium.
Concise Courses aim to teach information security professionals the latest and greatest SCADA anti-hacking methodologies that exist in 2013 and beyond.
For those that don’t know, SCADA (supervisory control and data acquisition) is a type of industrial control system. Industrial control systems are essentially computer controlled networks that monitor, protect and audit industrial processes that exist in the physical world. Protecting SCADA systems are a major priority for the US government and indeed all governments around the world. Stuxnet, Flame, Gauss and DuQu (see our four amigos post) can all be defined as being attacks aimed at infrastructe managed by SCADA networks – especially Stuxnet. Recent attacks in Saudi Arabia, the United States and apparently to North Korea last week all demonstrate the on-going security awareness and attacks aimed at SCADA networks.
SCADA systems have a very particular operating environment and therefore require a particular level of training. Because they are real-time operating systems that manage networks transmitting large amounts of data they are robust but also delicate at the same time. For example, a power station operating on a SCADA system experiencing a data relay delay of 5 ms could result in a blackout. Protection through training is vital for SCADA networks and systems.
What are the basics of a SCADA system?
The vital components of a SCADA system include:
Remote Terminal Unit (RTU): The RTU is defined as a communication device that operates within the SCADA ecosystem. The RTU collects and stores data from field devices in its’ memory until the MTU requests that data.
Master Terminal Unit (MTU): The MTU is at the core of a SCADA system and primarily functions as the main control center. MTU typically initiates communication with remote field units and connects with the DAS and also the HMI components.
Data Acquisition System (DAS): The DAS works closely with the MTU and stores vast amounts of data that it can use to send alerts and warnings. Failure to work in unison with the DAS can have catastrophic repercussions.
Human Machine Interface (HMI): The HMI is defined as the (human) interface or Graphical User Interface where the operator or administrator logs on to monitor, audit and control the variables of the system. The HMI gathers information from the DAS.
Contact us for course information regarding our SCADA course and we’ll send you early bird registration info. The course we will be launching in June will be aimed at senior, CIO, CSO and CTO’s involved with protecting SCADA networks and systems.
Have you had SCADA training or attended a course? We’d love to hear your thoughts below. Was it worth it? What did you learn that can be applied to your role at the moment?