Industrial Control System
Cyber Security Institute

Ethical Hacking for Industrial Control Systems is NOW OPEN for registration! Check out CURRICULUM->ETHICAL HACKING FOR ICS for more details and registration.

A new Organization ... a new Business Model ... and a new Way of Teaching Operational Cyber Security Skills for Industrial Control Systems

In June 2020, after more than eight years of training hundreds of professionals the essential skills required to safely and securely assess and secure industrial and facility-related control systems, founder Joel Langill has transferred the intellectual property and associated assets for the ICS training curriculum to Industrial Control System Cyber Security Institute LLC. By establishing the independent limited liability company, Langill is now able to aggressively expand and growth training capabilities in the under-served and under-resourced industrial cyber security sector. This new alignment also paves the way for the creation of an independent certification authority to address a comprehensive program designed to address a basis of knowledge and hands-on skills (where required) required for the wide range of individuals that interact with vital operational technologies in manufacturing and facilities operations.

The launch of ICSCSI also includes an expanded curriculum of course offerings that will be rolled out in the second half of 2021 that provide initial courses recommended for anyone who depends on industrial systems and precoursory skills vital to allowing students to fully develop throughout the training program. Field observations confirm that many industrial security associates are often denied access to critical systems and networks due to a basic lack of understanding of the underlying technologies, their operation, the impact to maintaining business integrity, and the experience to change the plan of execution "on the fly" due to unplanned or unexpected operational circumstances.

The concepts used to develop the ICSCSI curriculum align with what would typically be expected in obtaining an advanced degree in a particular area of interest. Langill began delivering the fundamentals of ICS cyber security at Texas A&M University Commerce Campus in the Fall 2020 semester. Multiple courses are developed that each introduce and reinforce key concepts that are then used at later levels of student development and evolution. For the same reason a business major does not require the same amount of education on mathematics and physical sciences, the basis of knowledge relating to industrial systems varies depending on whether an individuals primary role is control system engineering (automation engineer), system maintenance (support technician), manufacturing operations (plant operators), or system design (vendor).

ICSCSI converges the overall program through a one-of-a-kind learning environment incorporating vital components that include:

  • Web-based Learning Management System that aggregates all training resources and integrates the course curriculum, support/reference information, and associated laboratory environments
  • Cyber Range that provides real-world industrial system architectures in a sandboxed environment for large-scale training capability without dependence on student hardware and/or local virtualization solutions allowing training virtually anywhere, any time with a simple public Internet connection
  • Cyber Range encompassing leading industrial security platforms, applications and technologies directly integrated with the LMS for transparent utilization of virtual and physical technologies that allow student interaction with actual hardware/software for skills development (versus working with emulated or virtualized versions that can significantly differ from physical deployments)
  • Proprietary network bridging platform that allows externally-owned networks and systems to be incorporated directly into the LMS and associated training curriculums with minimal network reconfiguration and introduction of risk due to Internet connectivity and remote access for scenarios that include site-specific architectures and applications, as well as the ability for direct student connectivity allowing their assets to become part of the larger ICS/FRCS network
  • Legacy Test Range that allows student access most leading platform operating systems dating back 20-30 years for training and planning associated with field mission activities

ICSCSI plans to expand the curriculum into additional establishments of higher education including not only universities, but also community and technical colleges. ICSCSI can provide training to an extended range of both commercial and federal clients in both unclassified and classified environments. The design of the learning environment provides flexibility that allows trained to be held in public venues, on-site private courses that can tailor material to specific systems, and both live and on-demand virtual streaming formats. 

The advanced skills and knowledge required to excel in the industrial cyber security arena can not be accomplished using online learning programs alone. ICSCSI provides a foundation of learning that maximizes student exposure, knowledge and hands-on operational capabilities.