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The latest version of the Cyber Security Evaluation Tool (CSET), CSET 8.0, released earlier this month.

CSET is a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) product that aids organizations in protecting their key cyber assets.

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The tool ended up developed by cybersecurity experts under the direction of the DHS Industrial Control Systems Cyber Emergency Response Team (ICS-CERT). The tool provides users with a systematic and repeatable approach to assessing the security posture of their cyber systems and networks. It includes high-level and detailed questions related to all industrial control and IT systems.

CSET is a desktop software tool that guides users through a step-by-step process to assess their control system and information technology network security practices against recognized industry standards.

Cyber Security

CSET output is a prioritized list of recommendations for improving the cybersecurity posture of the organization’s enterprise and industrial control cyber systems. The tool derives the recommendations from a database of cybersecurity standards, guidelines, and practices. Each recommendation links to a set of actions the user can apply to enhance cybersecurity controls.

CSET’s design calls for an easy installation and use on a stand-alone laptop or workstation. It incorporates a variety of available standards from organizations such as NIST, North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC), Transportation Security Administration (TSA), Department of Defense (DoD), and others. When the tool user selects one or more of the standards, CSET opens a set of questions the user can answer. The answers to these questions end up compared against a selected security assurance level, and a detailed report ends up generated that shows areas for potential cybersecurity improvement. CSET provides a means to perform a self-assessment of the security posture of your control system environment.

Benefits of CSET include:
• It contributes to an organization’s risk management and decision-making process
• Raises awareness and facilitates discussion on cybersecurity within the organization
• Highlights vulnerabilities in the organization’s systems and provides recommendations on ways to address the vulnerability
• Identifies areas of strength and best practices to follow in the organization
• Provides a method to systematically compare and monitor improvement in cyber systems
• Provides a common industry-wide tool for assessing cyber systems

Click here to download CSET 8.0.

CSET is also available on CD. Please attempt to download CSET before requesting a media shipment, unless your email address ends in .gov or .mil. Government and military installations are generally restricted from downloading this type of file and may request a copy be sent rather than attempting the download. To request a copy, please send an email.

Please include “CSET Media Request” in the Subject line and include the following information in the email body:
• Your name
• Organization name
• Complete street address (no P.O. boxes)
• Telephone number

ICS-CERT offers onsite training and guidance to asset owners with the use of CSET. These onsite assessments end up conducted at no cost to the asset owner. To assist an organization in planning and organizing an assessment using CSET, ICS-CERT recommends the following actions and items:
• Identify the assessment team members and schedule a date
• Become familiar with information about the organization’s system and network by reviewing policies and procedures, network topology diagrams, inventory lists of critical assets and components, risk assessments, IT and ICS network policies/practices, and organizational roles and responsibilities
• Select a meeting location to accommodate the assessment team during the question and answer portion of the assessment

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