One of the most thought provoking sessions at S4xJapan was Wataru Machii of the Nagoya Institute of Technology’s session on Dynamic Zoning in an ICS. One of the great things about S4xJapan is it provides videos and sessions in the Japanese language. The downside is it is not accessible if you don’t speak or read Japanese.

The basic concept is that the security zones and conduits in an ICS should change dynamically based on the state of the ICS. There are two parts to this. The first is how to set up the zone and conduit states that you will switch between based on ICS state. And second, what triggers the change in state. Machii san had good ideas on both of these questions, but it is an area worth further investigation to identify a methodology that can be applied across sectors and customized by owner/operators.

This session was the inspiration for our S4x15 Great Debate: Can Operators Use a Security Display. The control room is often staffed 24×7 by Operators, but they have little security knowledge. The S4xJapan session made me consider if the Security Display could be simple enough that an Operator could trigger a change in the dynamic zone based on the information in a security display.

This is only one possibility.

In the Great Debate we will have attendees submit their single screen security display, and importantly, explain the defined Operator actions based on information shown in the security display. A handful of attendees will explain their security displays, others will be flashed on the screen for consideration, and their will be skeptics voices heard I’m certain.

By the way, this was one of two sessions at S4xJapan from the Nagoya Institute of Technology. They have an active ICS security program there and seem to be working on research with real world implications.