NERC CIP standards provide an auditable guide covering various cyber-security related areas, with the goal of protecting critical networks, applications, assets and data from both known and unknown attacks and attackers without sacrificing availability.
They were developed in response to concerns over the interconnection of critical infrastructure systems such as power grids, water supply, railways and nuclear energy plants with IT systems, which have become accessible to remote users via wireless devices that can be used by non-trusted operators for data mining and other malicious activities.
This is of particular concern to major internet use growth regions such as the Middle East, whose key economic sectors such as government, IT, oil & gas, petroleum and chemicals will increasingly require cyber security to prevent data leakage and other threats.
Scott Montgomery, Vice President of Global Technical Strategy for Secure Computing, explained:
“Even though businesses and government agencies know they need to secure their networks, many don’t have the in-house expertise or the time it takes to fully secure systems. We want to elevate awareness so that they understand how to change behaviour to make security a high priority.”
Timed in conjunction with the fifth annual National Cyber Security Awareness (NCSA) Month in October 2008, The Cyber Security Initiative (CSI) will provide corporations with informative research, tools, technologies, solutions and best practices vital for companies and federal agencies evaluating their CIP approaches. The initiative will present superior Secure Computing services covering Identity Authentication and Access, Web and Mail and Network Firewalls protection that will enable clients to attain stringent CIP standards approved by the US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.
Critical infrastructure comprises all computer systems that can be targets of criminal threats, industrial espionage and/or politically motivated sabotage such as the power grid, water supply, railways, nuclear energy plants and more. Attacks on such networks can cause loss of life, threaten public safety, impact national security, or create economic upheaval or environmental disaster.
“It is essential for the Middle East to focus on cyber security as it rapidly expands its IT base and accommodates exponential internet use growth. Security has become a must rather than an option to ensure sustained IT infrastructure development and critical data resource protection. Secure Computing’s Cyber Security Initiative is a welcome opportunity for the region to enhance its CIP initiatives,” said Nimer Ghazal, Regional Sales Manager – Middle East, Secure Computing.
Among the key philosophies promoted by the Secure Computing CSI are: 1) Security isn’t an Option – In the industries where security is paramount and network-to-network interconnection is the norm, security is not an option…it is a necessity; 2) Security cannot jeopardize critical network functionality – With a unique combination of high-speed application layer defenses, reputation scores, geo-location control, and long history of no patches or hacks, Secure Computing can defend critical networks without jeopardizing their core functionality and availability requirements; and lastly, 3) Security must protect assets, access and information – Security is needed to protect key aspects of the network: the control system assets themselves and information about critical assets. Secure Computing’s extensive security portfolio enables us to provide in-depth security for both areas.
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