Spain is addressing vulnerabilities in the cyber-hardiness of its critical information and communication technologies with the upcoming launch of the Industrial Cybersecurity Center (ICC).
The new center's mission statement is to address industrial cybersecurity as "the set of practices, processes and technologies, designed to manage cyberspace's risk associated to the management, process, storage and transmission of information used by industrial infrastructures, from the points of view of people, processes and technologies.” When it opens its doors in June, it plans to a play a key role in Spanish society and economy, its promoters said.
“It is known that most of our essential services and corporations depend on ICT for its normal operation, but it is not so widely known that essential services depend on industrial systems,” security professionals and ICC backers Samuel Linares, Ignacio Paredes and José Valiente said, in a statement. “In fact, these systems are the ones responsible of controlling cooling towers and electric generators, which provide power and fire extinguishing capabilities among many other features.”
They added, “Industrial systems are the basis of critical infrastructure and therefore of the nation's essential services, and this fact has made industrial systems a main target in cyber-terrorism and even cyber-war, new aspects of well-known conflicts that have expedited the development of cyber-weapons focused on exploiting vulnerabilities of industrial control systems.”
The three organizers are looking to foster additional levels of awareness on the issue throughout the ecosystem, by taking stock of the existing state of industrial cybersecurity, its stakeholders and market requirements, as well as successes and failures in Europe and the US. Its primary goal will be information-sharing and developing best practices, and to that end, will release five documents this year, including the Spanish Industrial Cybersecurity Roadmap, the Current State of Industrial Cybersecurity in Spain and the Template of Cybersecurity Requirements for Service Suppliers.
Also during 2013, the ICC will organize four events called The Voice of the Industry and the first Industrial Cybersecurity Ibero-American Summit. It will also create sector-focused workgroups that initially will focus on energy, chemical, water and transport.
The ICC is independent and nonprofit, and “aims to be the independent meeting point for public and private organisms and for professionals involved in industrial cybersecurity technologies,” it said. “It also seeks to become the Spanish-speaking reference for information and experience interchange.”