Security Experts:

New Special Interest Group Aims to Enhance ICS/OT Cyber Defenses

MITRE has announced a new special interest group (SIG) whose goal is to help enhance cyber defenses for industrial control systems (ICS) and operational technology (OT).

The new SIG is co-chaired by MITRE and the Cybersecurity Manufacturing Innovation Institute (CyManII), a cybersecurity research institute whose activity centers around manufacturing and supply chains in the United States.

The initiative is supported by the US Department of Energy’s Office of Cybersecurity, Energy Security, and Emergency Response (CESER) and Homeland Security’s Systems Engineering and Development Institute.

The initiative is an expansion of the Common Weakness Enumeration (CWE) program, which catalogs over 900 types of software and hardware weaknesses, and Common Attack Pattern Enumeration and Classification (CAPEC), which helps defenders identify and understand attacks.

The goal is to provide a forum for researchers and vendors to interact and share opinions and expertise in an effort to identify and classify vulnerabilities and common attack patterns that are specific to ICS and other OT.

The new SIG will have its first meeting on May 18, from 3:00 to 4:30 PM ET. Interested parties — including representatives of government, industry and academia — can sign up by contacting MITRE at cwe(at)mitre.org.

MITRE noted that the SIG is open to ICS/OT vulnerability researchers, engineers, representatives of OEMs, system integrators, infrastructure vendors, and asset owners and operators. While managers and other leaders can also join, it’s recommended that they bring along their technical staff.

“The work done by the Securing Energy Infrastructure Executive Task Force to develop new categories of security vulnerabilities that are focused on ICS—and distinct from existing IT vulnerability categories—has begun to fill an important gap,” said Puesh Kumar, director of the DoE’s CESER.

“CWE and CAPEC are at the forefront of classifying security weaknesses and common attack patterns within cyber-physical systems. The SIG represents a powerful opportunity to advance the state of the practice in identifying, classifying, and mitigating security weaknesses in both energy and other critical infrastructure sectors,” Kumar added.

Related: New Initiative to Protect U.S. Electrical Grid From Cyberattacks

Related: Several Companies Join Forces for New OT Cybersecurity Coalition

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Eduard Kovacs (@EduardKovacs) is a contributing editor at SecurityWeek. He worked as a high school IT teacher for two years before starting a career in journalism as Softpedia’s security news reporter. Eduard holds a bachelor’s degree in industrial informatics and a master’s degree in computer techniques applied in electrical engineering.