Engineering 101

On-site Cyber Security Training at US Army National Guard


The International Society of Automation (ISA) in April provided operational technology (OT) training in support of the US Army National Guard’s national cyber-operations exercise, Cyber Shield. Cyber Shield 19 brought together approximately 800 Army and Air National Guard network defenders and world-class cyber security professionals, industry network owners, an Army Reserve assessment team, and federal and state agencies to train the next generation of cyber warriors in the ever-changing, dynamic world of information systems and networks.

“The training that Soldiers and Airmen obtained through Cyber Shield 19 and the National Guard adds to their ability to conduct their civilian jobs and, vice versa, the training and experience they receive in their civilian positions strengthen the military’s cyber capabilities. They become very valuable assets in protecting critical infrastructure,” said George Battistelli, the Army National Guard Cybersecurity Program Manager, Information Technology Strategy Division Chief and the Cyber Shield 19 Exercise Director.

Cyber Shield includes a critical training component that offers courses and seminars that are organized into tracks based on the roles of the participating cyber team members.

Col. Teri Williams, Commander, Cyber Shield 19, added: “We focus on getting people prepared for cyber defense. There are a lot of people we bring to the table for that first week of training. Microsoft, CISCO and SANS are on hand for some of the cyber defensive training. The International Society of Automation (ISA) provides ICS/SCADA network training. We also focus on the offensive side. Our belief is that the better that you are trained on the offensive side the stronger a defender you will be.”

ISA was selected by the National Guard because of its leadership and experience in developing the world’s only consensus-based series of industrial cyber security standards, ISA/IEC 62443. These standards, which also serve as the basis for ISA cyber security training, protect the industrial automation and control systems (IACS) and networks that operate OT machinery and associated devices within critical infrastructure.

Without these defenses in place, industrial cyber attack can result in plant shutdown, operational and equipment impairment, severe economic and environmental damage, and public endangerment.

Given their protective capabilities, the ISA/IEC 62443 series of standards are key components of the ‘US Framework for Improving Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity (dated April 2018)’, a how-to guide developed through the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to help strengthen America’s cyber defenses.

During the first week of Cyber Shield 2019, ISA’s subject-matter experts taught three ISA courses: ISA Cyber security courses included: Introduction to Industrial Automation Security and the ISA/IEC 62443 Standards (IC32C); IACS Cyber security Design & Implementation (IC34), and IACS Cyber security Operations & Maintenance (IC37) courses.

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