A number of ‘practice ranges’ where IT specialists and organisations can prepare against the worst of a cyberattack have opened up in Europe, as well as the US.
The move is an initiative from Accenture, who has opened up a range inside its Innovation Center in Essen, Germany, which is aimed specifically to cater for utility and chemical industries, with a “particular focus on electric distribution networks and chemical plants,” according to reports, as well as two on US soil.
The cyber ranges provide an opportunity for organisations to develop their cybersecurity protocols and emergency-response plans in a simulated environment that is described as a hyper-realistic, interactive and controlled environment. This allows organisations an invaluable opportunity to test its training and software development and assess both network and technical vulnerabilities of their industrial control systems; something used widely by utility providers.
“The energy industry has the largest installed base of industrial control systems around the world, and the cyber risk has never been greater,” Luis Luque
The first US site is located in Washington DC, at Accenture’s Cyber Fusion Center, which is “aimed specifically at helping companies in the utilities industry learn how to protect themselves from threat actors,” while the second US range is located at Accenture’s innovation hub in Houston, Texas- known as the Industrial Control Systems (ICS) Cyber Range, created to provide support to “leading oil and gas companies in their cybersecurity efforts,” writes Sarah Coble.
The company is also working on its first US-based ICS Cyber Fusion Center in Houston, Texas, which, when completed, will “help the company’s clients protect their industrial networks and plants assets better.” Accenture also has Fusion Centers up-and-running in Prague, Tokyo, Israel and India.
According to a report from InfoSecurity Magazine, “the new ‘cyber ranges’ are specifically aimed at assisting industrial companies in the oil and gas, chemicals, utilities and manufacturing industries to improve their cybersecurity.”
“The energy industry has the largest installed base of industrial control systems around the world, and the cyber risk has never been greater,” Luis Luque, ICS cybersecurity global lead at Accenture Security said.
“Securing and defending these large and complex industrial systems requires not only improving processes and tools, but also adopting cybersecurity practices for operational maintenance and resilience programs. With the expansion of our ICS cybersecurity capabilities, we can deliver the most comprehensive security solutions tailored across the ICS environment, delivered by people who understand the zero-loss time imperative our industry experts.”