Prior to the holiday I took a swing through the Pacific Northwest. Here are a few items:

  • In Vancouver I stopped in on Wurldtech. Achilles continues to mature with lots of new configuration and reporting features, but what I found most interesting is the way Wurldtech is looking at new, or at least non-traditional, business models for the control system security sector. In the IT security world, Qualys has been successful shifting from a product sale to an on-demand scanning service. Can a similar type of offering, tailored to the control system world, be successful? Of course, providing external scanning access to even a trusted third party raises warning flags, but this is balanced by the difficulty and expense of bringing the products and expertise in house. We will keep an eye on the Achilles Health Check and Achilles Inside offerings as they are revealed.
  • I travelled to SEL in Pullman, Washington to discuss the Portaledge and Quickdraw projects and finalize our lab purchase. After all, how can we have a lab geared for the energy sector without some of that blue equipment? SEL is also involved in the DoE funded Hallmark project with PNL. Loyal readers will know we are big fans of Secure DNP3 and its ability to authenticate the data and source of request and response messages. Hallmark is trying to provide the same security services but is protocol independent. We will look into and blog on the protocol details in the near furture. SSCP is being integrated into the SEL-304x crypto card and prototypes will be available in early 2009.
  • I went from Pullman to Idaho Falls, a spectacular 9-hour drive through Montana. Idaho in the summer is beautiful – – this has to be prime recruiting time for Idaho National Labs before the 8 months of winter sets in. If you are an outdoorsman, fly fishing enthusiast, skier, etc., there probably are few places where you can do control system security work and be in the middle of so many outdoor opportunities – – and I hear they are hiring.