John Saunders with the National Defense University has been one of the most active participants in the control system security education and workforce development area. After seeing him again working on these issues at ICSJWG I wanted to get his view on the best way forward. So we had the following email exchange reprinted with his approval.

My question:

I was curious as one of the main guys who worries about education and work force issues in this space, what would be the 2 to 3 things, that you feel are achievable in a couple of years, that would make the biggest positive impact?

John’s answer:

“Most achievable with biggest potential for impact in 2-3 years:

  • Low cost, good quality sector level conference control systems security training: API, AGA, AWWA, Electric Coordinating Councils, regional meetings. I know some of this aready exists.
  • Catalog of retrofit solutions for distributed systems with example applications.
  • Mass mailing of 800-82 to all utilities’ chief control systems engineers.

I doubt that any of these efforts will have “serious impact. As long as I have been involved in this field progress has been linear, and not at a very steep slope. I think it will continue that way.”

What would your answer be?