The European Network for Cyber Security (ENCS) has announced the launch of a new training course for security architects, aimed at giving them the requisite knowledge and skills to design secure smart grid architecture.
The three-day programme covers the design of risk-based architecture, information technology and operational technology (IT/OT) interfaces; and the practical applications of security architecture, such as substation design and smart metering. The curriculum, which uses real life examples to help students develop skills applicable to their fields, is based on the ENCS’s experiences of working with members to create risk-based secure smart grid architecture designs: as part of the course students are grouped into small teams of three or four, given an operational technology security challenge; and tasked with designing a solution.
ENCS Managing Director Anjos Nijk said: “As the smart grid grows in scope and sophistication, we see increasing integration between IT and OT. Following the 2016 and 2017 blackouts in Ukraine, we also see a growing need to withstand advanced, dedicated cyber attacks on energy infrastructure. Grid operators are addressing this need by hiring security professionals to design a [secure smart grid architecture] that crosses both IT and OT. With this training, we hope to improve the skills of these professionals.”
In implementing the new secure smart grid architecture training, ENCS is building on its previous training courses, including the Red Team/Blue Team (RTBT) course. In RTBT, which has received consistently positive feedback from participants, students combine lecture learning with practical application: the red team attempts to hack ENCS’s purpose-built simulated network, Gridnet, while the blue team tries to defend it.
In addition to RTBT and secure smart grid architecture, ENCS courses include its tailored management awareness sessions, which debuted earlier this year, and security operations training for system and organisational controls analysts and computer security incident response teams. Next year ENCS hopes to expand its portfolio further by adding crisis response exercises and secure configuration training for engineers.