Ex-CSSP Director Joins Security Firm

Tuesday, May 22, 2012 @ 11:05 AM gHale

Former director of the Department of Homeland Security’s Control System Security Program, Sean Paul McGurk, is joining ICS Cybersecurity, Inc. as chief policy officer.

As a part of his role, McGurk will lead policy development for the Industrial Controls Systems Information Sharing and Analysis Center (ICS ISAC). McGurk’s extensive experience combating cyber crime will aid both organizations’ efforts to build security intelligence for industrial control systems.

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Even before the Stuxnet revelations two years ago, securing national and global critical infrastructure against the growing threats to the cyber systems that control them has become an increasingly important issue.

At the May Industrial Control Systems Joint Working Group (ICSJWG) meeting, DHS recounted that 106,000 incidents led to more than 5,000 advisories in 2011. Discovery of malware such as Stuxnet and Duqu has led to the recognition of broader systemic vulnerabilities within critical infrastructure and the supporting ecosystems, which have been until recently largely disconnected. Addressing the resiliency of these systems must occur at technical, organizational and policy levels.

“ICS Cybersecurity’s leadership in the creation of the Industrial Control System Information Sharing and Analysis Center (ICS-ISAC) was a major factor in my decision to join the team,” said McGurk, chief policy advisor for the ICS-ISAC. “Other sectors have strong private-sector groups that the government can work with to address issues of national security. The ICS-ISAC has been needed by the teams I worked with in the federal government. Now, ICS-ISAC and ICS Cybersecurity are filling those gaps.”

Beyond his ICS-ISAC involvement, McGurk will drive other policy and programs within ICS Cybersecurity.

“Creating the global knowledge sharing network necessary to address cyber threats to critical infrastructure is a monumental and audacious task, requiring the involvement of a broad array of private and public stakeholders to be successful, ” said Chris Blask, founder and chief executive of ICS Cybersecurity and chair of the ICS ISAC. “Sean McGurk’s unparalleled public sector experience with industrial control system security makes him a uniquely valuable addition to our team.”

“Sean built the national system we have now,” said Paul Forney, chief technologist, supervisory platform R&D, Invensys Operations Management. “When he advocates for an effort it is important that those in the industry pay attention.”

McGurk served 28 years in the United States Navy, where, as part of the Nuclear Weapons Program, he served on six fleet ballistic missile submarines and several shore facilities.

In January 2008, McGurk became director of the Control Systems Security Program, National Cyber Security Division in the Department of Homeland Security. In this role he helped create the national assets deployed to address the risk of cyber threats to critical infrastructure and key resources, including the Department of Homeland Security’s Industrial Control System Joint Working Group (ICSJWG), Industrial Control System Computer Emergency Response Team (ICS-CERT) and the National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center (NCCIC).

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