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Cyber security strategies must adapt to wireless world, expert says

SUBNET Solutions Inc | Friday, August 03, 2012

A new generation of threats is supporting the argument for robust enterprise cyber security strategies, and is also increasing the value of training, certification and hiring of IT security professionals, industry leader Hord Tipton says.

According to TechTarget, Tipton, executive director of the International Information Systems Security Certification Consortium (ISC), recently spoke on how to the ever-changing cyber security environment is creating a need for more advanced training of workers at all levels. This includes workers who operate critical infrastructure, such as the nation's electric grid, which is increasingly moving toward more wireless communication.

Tipton stated that hackers are growing more sophisticated all the time, and a new breed of international computer criminals and cyber terrorists has arisen. All of this has increased the need for improved cyber security, and recent threats, such as the malware Stuxnet and Flame, have made it all the more urgent.

"I have to admit, I was a bit dumbfounded. It seems to us in the security field [to be] a game changer," Tipton said. "I think we all recognize that all nations have a certain amount of intelligence gathering that goes on. But we have to be careful with what could be characterized as sabotage. What would we do if someone had attacked our critical infrastructure in this way?"

Tipton said he strongly believes that - after overseeing systems used by more than 85,000 people as the CIO at the U.S. Department of the Interior - a safe system begins and ends with the proper workers, rather than endless technology updates.

"We are the first to recognize we've developed good technology, but at the heart is the people who manage it, configure it, monitor it," he said. "The people who use the technology are a vital, critical component of keeping that environment safe."

Tipton has become an outspoken advocate of improved security training, which includes training workers at every level.

SUBNET is doing its part to create an educated and aware workforce in the power industry by providing in-depth training modules that discuss how to best implement smart grid technologies into existing systems. SUBNET's One Architecture Boot Camp teaches utility operators how to reduce SubSTATION Server configuration install time, lowers the chance of configuration errors, and simplifies complex issues, lower dependence on "expert users."

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