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DOE to Focus CyberForce Training Program on ICS, Operational Technology

Cybersecurity workforce


DOE to Focus CyberForce Training Program on ICS, Operational Technology

The Department of Energy plans to expand its CyberForce collegiate training program to focus more on industrial control systems and operational technology.

Amanda Joyce, CyberForce program director, said DOE is as qualified as large tech companies in providing hands-on cybersecurity training in real-world scenarios, FedScoop reported.

Industrial control systems are integrated hardware and software designed to control machines and devices in industrial environments.

According to a Tech Target article, industrial control systems cannot easily be shut down for security updates because they support critical infrastructure. Such systems also typically do not have the computing power to run anti-malware software.

Argonne National Laboratory, the site that leads DOE’s CyberForce program, launched a multi-lab Conquer the Hill event where participants learn the specific tasks, including ensuring the security of emails and industrial control systems.

The Conquer the Hill series was also designed to test students’ knowledge and skills against the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education workforce framework.

DOE also uses CyberForce to strengthen the cybersecurity workforce for operational technology, which NIST’s Computer Security Research Center defines as programmable systems that interact with the physical environment. Some examples of operational technology are building management systems, fire control systems and physical access control mechanisms.

“Why we push operational technologies so much is because the technology we’re using is very old. The problem is none of these systems were ever really meant to be on the internet,” Joyce told FedScoop.

In April, the National Security Agency issued a cybersecurity advisory warning that operational technologies are increasingly becoming exposed to exploits as their components continue to be connected to information technology.

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Category: Federal Civilian

Tags: Amanda Joyce Conquer the Hill CyberForce Department of Energy DoE federal civilian FedScoop ICS industrial control system National Security Agency NICE framework NIST operational technology Tech Target training