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    Cybersecurity Course Concludes with Students More Confident and Competitive

    International Society of Automation mission partner trains Soldiers, airmen and civilians in cybersecurity

    Photo By Staff Sgt. Michael Giles | Members of the Army National Guard, Air National Guard, and U.S. Army Reserve, as well...... read more read more



    Story by Sgt. Michael Giles 

    100th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment

    CAMP WILLIAMS, Utah (April 28, 2017)-- Participants in the Cyber Shield 17 exercise completed an International Society of Automation course in cybersecurity design and maintenance today at Camp Williams, Utah.

    The National Guard exercise, in collaboration with the U.S. Army Reserve, began with a week of classroom training that included several certification courses in cyber defense. The International Society of Automation IC34/IC37 62443 Cybersecurity Design Specialist/Maintenance Specialist course, which prepares students for ISA/ICE 62443 Cybersecurity Expert Certificate testing, concluded with a practical exercise that challenged their abilities to correct systems that have been sabotaged.

    “Intentional tampering of automation control systems is what the National Guard has to be able to fix,” said Marco (Marc) Ayala, senior principal ICS/SCADA lead with aeSolutions and one of the course instructors.

    Maj. Christine Pierce, a class participant and Pennsylvania National Guard Defensive Cyber Operations Elements team chief, explained that the practical exercise reflected the anxiety of a real-world hacking scenario.

    “We had the pressure of the plant manager losing money,” Pierce said. “You want to hurry and get these things operational because you see the real effects.”

    Pierce said she was able to overcome the challenge by returning her focus to the course material.

    “We didn’t know where to start,” Pierce said. “We took a deep breath, went back to what we learned this week and methodically applied the incident response procedures.”

    Heidi Cooke, a senior learning consultant with the International Society of Automation, explained that the purpose of the course is to train Soldiers, airmen and participants from civilian agencies in protecting industrial operations from cyberattack.

    “A lot of vendors use remote access to support their customers,” Cooke said. “That is a way for somebody else to come in the door and shut down a process, and someone else is now controlling the process.”

    Participant Sgt. 1st Class James Medlock, a guardsman with the Texas Cyber Protection Team and satellite network engineer with Wellbore Technologies, explained that developing and maintaining cyberdefense systems are critical tasks for domestic security in the information age.

    “We know how to take a hill and control the sea and the air,” Medlock said. “Industrial control systems is an area of our critical national infrastructure we must defend.”

    Medlock explained that this course is a benefit to his career because it will enable him to gain a qualification that is highly valued in the civilian cyber workplace.

    “It’s going to make my resume more competitive and make me more confident because I’ve had the hands-on experience,” Medlock said.

    Cooke said she believes the course was a success, judging by student comments that expressed appreciation for the teaching style and teaching aides.

    “When we looked at the student evaluations at the end of the day, the feedback was positive,” Cooke said. “They were able to do hands-on labs at their pace because the instructors were very attentive and available to them.”

    Story by Sgt. Michael Giles



    Date Taken: 04.28.2017
    Date Posted: 04.28.2017 20:05
    Story ID: 232031
    Location: UT, US

    Web Views: 685
    Downloads: 1