Learning self-defense without getting hit
May 23, 2019
What if we could step into the ring and learn to defend ourselves without any risk of getting popped in the nose? We could practice jabs, blocking, counter-punching and other self-defense techniques, including staying out of trouble in the first place… all with absolutely no risk and zero pain, because it’s not really ‘real.’ You get the exercise of sparring and develop the muscle memory from training, you just avoid damage. Most importantly, you learn what works and what doesn’t, without penalty.
That’s the theory behind Accenture’s Houston-based Industrial Control Systems (ICS) Cyber Range. It’s a place where everyone in the energy value chain – upstream, midstream and downstream – can test the cyber readiness of their industrial systems and process control networks against sophisticated attacks.
It’s risk-free but not stress-free. The attacks can come low and slow or quickly and furiously, but regardless, the opponents are very good. Some defense techniques get exposed for their blind spots and others develop more ‘street-cred’ when they shield industrial assets from harm, but one thing is for sure... everyone comes out smarter, more experienced and more educated.
Industrial systems and process control networks remain vulnerable along with many other field and production assets. Accenture’s State of Cyber Resilience report said it all: Seventy one percent of organizations admitted cyber attacks are still "bit of a black box," meaning—after all their efforts and expense—they are still unsure of their ability to detect, mitigate and prevent attacks.
Reading further, the news doesn’t get much better. As the report notes, companies also said their cybersecurity programs protect only about two-thirds (~67 percent) of their organizations, with third parties ranked lowest at only 32 percent. Importantly, this holds true for increasingly connected organizations in exploration, energy, oil and gas, midstream and downstream, where traditional IT equipment must now integrate reliably and securely with ICS components and aging field systems … while, of course, fending off increasingly sophisticated attacks.
Every day, cyber opponents and adversaries circle these companies and their increasingly extended value chains Looking for the weakness. They jab, fake, pepper the midsection and then send roundhouses toward the head, looking for knockouts.
Companies that visit the Accenture ICS Cyber Range find themselves immersed in an environment that is both safe and hostile—making mistakes, learning and testing new techniques and technologies. Specifically, they can:
We’ve found that clients who visit theCyber Range and engage with our team gain much better visibility in their process control environments—reducing detection time tenfold. That comes in handy when the bad guys are looking for trouble.
Accenture Security is a leading provider of end-to-end cybersecurity services, including advanced cyber defense, applied cybersecurity solutions and managed security operations. We bring security innovation, coupled with global scale and a worldwide delivery capability through our network of Advanced Technology and Intelligent Operations centers. Helped by our team of highly skilled professionals, we enable clients to innovate safely, build cyber resilience and grow with confidence. Follow us @AccentureSecure on Twitter or visit us at www.accenture.com/security.
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