Pick Your Fall ICS Security Conference

ICS Security ConferenceRemember S4 Call For Papers/Presentations Closes This Friday

September / October is a busy week for ICS security events. Joe Weiss just posted the full agenda for ICS Cyber-Security Conference the week of October 22nd in Norfolk, VA (called WEIScon by many). The week prior to this DHS holds their semi-annual ICSJWG Event in Denver. These are both quality events, especially for those new to ICS security, that draw a good crowd. The later point is important because the people you meet and hallway discussions are a big part of an event.

So if you have to pick one, which should it be? First, have you been to either event recently. If yes, pick the other event. While there is new content all the time, the approach and culture of the event changes little year over year. Also you will meet new people at the other event. There is some crowd overlap, but not that much.

ICSJWG is much more government and organizational structure focused, as you would expect from a DHS event, especially in the plenary sessions. If you want to talk to or connect with DHS, ICS-CERT, National Labs, and some other government officials this is the place to go.

WEIScon is the most traditional and conservative of the ICS security events. There is an abundance of caution about security affecting the process, and Joe is adamant on focusing on anything cyber that could affect the process not just a cyber attack. I always recommend WEIScon to those coming from the IT security world who want to learn about the ICS culture.

Of course there are also factors of geography, do you like Denver or Norfolk? And the cost may be an issue as ICSJWG is free without any meals/parties, while WEIScon needs to be self sustaining but also has sponsors and social activities.

Another strong ICS Security event is the EnergySec Summit this week in Portland, Oregon. But if you don’t already have airplane tickets and registration you are unlikely to attend. If you are in the area they probably can squeeze you in.

As mentioned earlier, I’ll be speaking at Jeffrey Carr’s Suits and Spooks in Boston on Oct 18th and at the IPA event in Tokyo on Oct 25th. The Suits and Spooks presentation will discuss offensive techniques to take control of single or large numbers of power plants. At IPA I’ll be unveiling the Japanese version of a new presentation I’ve been working on for a few months entitled “You Have No Integrity”.

Image by Pierre-Alain Dorange

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