ICS for Cyber Geeks

ICS for Cyber Geeks: Processes & Automation

Ron Fabela, SynSaber CTO & Co-founder
Ron Fabela

ICS Curious? IT Cyber that’s now been tasked with taking care of the OT / operations side of the house? Here’s a starting point for you to understand your PLCs from your RTUs, DCS from PCNs. Expanding on our previous post that discussed self-education in technology, we wanted to share some educational resources for those embarking on their ICS cybersecurity journey, starting with processes and automation.

Getting to Know ICS Part 1: Processes and Automation

Let’s start with a foundational series from RealPars. RealPars is a group out of the Netherlands that has a series of very simple to understand and incredibly well-done intro videos. Please go to their website and Twitter and give them some love: https://realpars.com/ & https://twitter.com/RealPars
Note, their voice-over cadence is perfect for a 1.25x or 1.5x playback speed!

What is a Process?

The first ICS related terms we’ll go over are automation, as well as a plain talk explanation of processes.
This video discusses manual processes versus automated processes. For instance, the manual process of fumbling around in the kitchen searching for that elusive light switch, as compared to the automatic process of the light turning on by itself when you enter the room.

What is a PLC?

*Let’s see what exactly a PLC or Programmable Logic Control is in simple terms!

What is a DCS (Distributed Control System)?

*A DCS is used for continuous, complex controls, with an integrated control center much like a SCADA, which is the core of the system versus the processors in a PLC system.

What are the Next Steps for your ICS journey?

In conclusion, these videos are a great first step in your journey if you’re first embarking on the road to ICS knowledge. In the coming weeks I’ll continue to step through what you need to know as a newly knighted ICS cybersecurity community member.

~Ron 💜🚀