Blogs: Critical Infrastructure

  • Can I Get Credit Monitoring for That Transformer?

    by Gib Sorebo on January 2, 2013

    As organizations struggle with cyber attacks and their after effects, more and more are looking to insurance policies to cover the damage. And that really begs the question of just what do a get with a cyber insurance policy? After all, we are bombarded with news stories of stolen customer information where the biggest cost, which some cyber insurance policies cover, is credit monitoring, a…

  • Is Application Whitelisting the Answer for a More Secure Critical Infrastructure?

    by Gib Sorebo on September 4, 2012

    For the last couple years, as anti-virus has continued to fail us with a detection rate often in the single digits, many have suggested that a better approach would be to not focus on the bad but on the good. The objective would be to identify what normal is and alert on everything that is not normal. While that is still a tall task, it is often an easier one than to identify every possible piece…

  • Better Information Sharing – Is It the Way to Better Critical Infrastructure Protection?

    by Gib Sorebo on July 24, 2012

    Last week I attended a breakfast seminar in D.C. titled “Exploring Models of Cybersecurity Threat Information Sharing for Critical Infrastructure” that was sponsored by Hunton & Williams and MITRE. While I’ve attending numerous other talks on information sharing, this one had a number of interesting insights that are worth noting. The panel first highlighted some of the challenges and then noted…

  • The Social Costs of Critical Infrastructure Failures

    by Gib Sorebo on July 16, 2012

    In his seminal work, Bowling Alone, Robert Putnam laments the growing decline in social trust in our society as evidenced by declines in social interaction, civic involvement, and nearly every kind of community activity. That had led to a wide variety of ills, from increased crime to lower economic output. More important, many of our major institutions depend upon citizen involvement for their…

  • Water Systems: Are Hackers Getting Thirsty?

    by Gib Sorebo on August 19, 2011

    In the realm of critical infrastructure security, it’s easy to get caught up in discussions about smart grid and even oil and gas pipelines. After all, they are making news on a regular basis, with reports of foreign spies infiltrating our electrical grid and smart meter hacks. Additionally, human error or natural phenomena has often been the culprit for explosions that have led to a loss of…

  • Is the oil industry due for a little cyber security attention?

    by Gib Sorebo on June 1, 2010

    The legal profession is often seen as having the rather dubious distinction of seeking to profit at the misfortunes of others or, more simply, of being ambulance chasers. As law graduate myself, I don’t dispute that many practicing lawyers get rather aggressive around accident sites. Nonetheless, much of the profession’s bad name derives instead from the highly valuable function they perform, …

  • Smart Grid Security Jitters

    by Gib Sorebo on April 21, 2010

    Over the last couple years, those in the Smart Grid security community have witnessed a number of news reports on vulnerabilities with Smart Grid technology that are not particularly flattering. For example, a widely circulated AP article called into question the security of various smart meters currently being deployed. However, the article left out some of the caveats noted during their…

  • Reflections on Physical Security and Critical Infrastructure Track at RSA

    by Gib Sorebo on March 17, 2010

    Now that the RSA Conference is a pleasant memory, I wanted to reflect on the newly renamed Physical Security and Critical Infrastructure Track. In response to growing interest in maintaining the security of power plants, chemical facilities, pipelines, transportation systems, and many other industries dominated by industrial control systems and related equipment, RSA Conference organizers added…

  • The Many Shades of Project Grey Goose

    by Gib Sorebo on February 8, 2010

    As I noted in my previous post about a recent 60 Minutes segment, we often rely on rumor and innuendo as the basis for journalism in critical infrastructure. If a current or former high-ranking public official says he heard something, then it must be true. Unfortunately, Project Grey Goose, whose stated objective was “to answer the question of whether there has been any successful hacker attacks…

  • Cracking Down on SCADA Security

    by Gib Sorebo on January 21, 2010

    Critical infrastructure encompasses a vast array of industries and their associated platforms for control and monitoring of such critical functions as the delivery of water and electricity, operation of mass transit systems, and automation of our factories. While the devices differ, many are managed by supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) systems that define how transformers, braking…

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