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Kaspersky Lab and the International Society of Automation (ISA) will launch a joint education initiative aimed at raising the awareness of cyberthreats to industrial automation equipment operators.

As part of the initiative, the Kaspersky Industrial Protection Simulation will be a part of select ISA training programs.

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Awareness of cyber security’s importance for critical infrastructure is continuing its growth pattern. Incidents such as the spread of the BlackEnergy2 malware in complex environments happen regularly. In addition, the vulnerability and scale of consequences associated with a cyberattack against an automated production line is clear in a recent malware incident that led to physical damage to a steel furnace in Europe.

According to statistics from Kaspersky Security Network, by the end of 2014 there were about 13,000 monthly incidents when malicious code attempted to infect computers running automatic process control systems supplied by Siemens, Rockwell, Wonderware, General Electric, Emerson and other companies.

Cyber Security

By joining their efforts, Kaspersky Lab and ISA expect to promote the development of mixed sets of knowledge – in information security and engineering, and among owners and operators of critical infrastructure facilities.

“The training developed by Kaspersky Lab sets the audience in a unique atmosphere which enables the delivery of hands-on experience of securing critical infrastructure facilities against cyberattacks taking into account all the subtle nuances,” said Dalton Wilson, Director – ISA Education & Certification.

The training is a turn-based strategy game in which the participants are in charge of a virtual critical infrastructure facility and asked to ensure it operates without disruption. The ultimate goal of the exercise is to ensure the sustained and profitable operation of the facility under the increasing pressure of cyberattacks. The simulation uses real-world examples and shows that without a unified view on cyber security by IT and engineering specialists such facility’s resilience is far from optimal.

“The owners of critical infrastructure are practical people that are not used to taking things for granted. This is why we developed ‘Kaspersky Industrial Protection Simulation.’ Through it, we vividly demonstrate how ensuring the cyber security of a technological process is important not only for the peace of mind for IT security staff, but also for the financial stability of the entire company,” said Vyacheslav Borilin, business development manager at Kaspersky Lab.

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