I recently had the pleasure of participating in the first Ibero-American Industrial Cybersecurity Congress held by the Center for Industrial Cybersecurity (Centro de Ciberseguridad Industrial, CCI). For it's very first year, I can honestly say it far exceeded my expectations. The event was very well organized, well attended by a very diverse array of countries, companies and skillets - and well worth the time. The latin-speaking world is clearly engaged in industrial control system cybersecurity.
The event was preceded by a set of useful 4-hour workshops. This duration is just the right amount of time to explore each subject in depth. During the Congress, blocks of presentation content were followed by panels from the previous presenters. This was a great approach and I felt it really tied the thoughts together. But most importantly, CCI allowed for lengthy networking breaks between the sessions. Everyone was engaged in great conversations and I could hear the sharing of ideas and new connections being made at each table. The true benefit of non-profit "grass-roots" organizations like CCI (www.cci-es.org), EnergySec (www.energysec.org), NorSIS (www.norsis.no) and others is the relationships formed with peers during the event - which are then magnified through the aggregation under a non-profit umbrella or a public-private partnership. It is all about information sharing. Sharing doesn't happen without trust. Trust doesn't happen without relationships. Organizations like CCI create an environment where sharing can prosper through their independence and non-profit nature. What started as a conversation at the Congress will continue across languages, across industries and across continents.
ICS Security isn't just a local issue. It is truly a global matter. We all buy our products and services from vendors that may or may not be in our native country. Nonetheless, we all buy the same gear from the same software and hardware Vendors. The services are provided by someone who is "local" to your company, but many of our service providers are also global. In short, the shift from proprietary platforms to off-the-shelf solutions means the ICS world is getting smaller. This comes with pros and cons, but one of the benefits is that we can begin to use a common lexicon and share security concepts, architectures and approaches more easily. Sharing under the protection and fostering environment of a non-profit such as CCI for the latin-speaking professionals will generate a wave of security progress.
Founder & President Emeritus, EnergySec
Partner and Managing Principal, The Anfield Group