San Antonio, Texas
June 10, 2012
June 10, 2012
June 13, 2012
Computing & Information Technology
25.877.1 - 25.877.7
Large Scale, Real-Time Systems Security Analysis in Higher Education This paper discusses the positive and negative aspects of large scale, real time systems’security (e.g, SCADA and industrial control) as currently taught in higher education. SCADAand industrial control systems security has not been a strong focus in university curricula in thepast. However, as a result of the Stuxnet virus and its disastrous affects, the United States hasdeclared that our nation must be better equipped against cyber warfare. It has now becomenecessary to instruct students from information technology (IT) and engineering disciplinesabout how to secure environments with thousands of real-time nodes, such as those in SCADAand industrial control systems. Courses in security, networking, operating systems, embedded systems, and computerarchitecture facilitate opportunities for students to understand the fundamental concepts of largescale systems. Even though securing these systems may not be an emphasis in many technologyprograms, this paper shows how foundational coursework, along with advanced security content,can prepare students to secure conventional as well as industrial real-time systems regardless ofscale. This paper also highlights how the study of SCADA and industrial control systems canact as a bridging component between engineering and IT disciplines. Many engineering and ITdisciplines cover embedded systems, but each takes a fundamentally different approach. ITdisciplines tend to focus their content towards the use of an embedded system in a larger whole,whereas engineering disciplines focus on the inner workings of embedded devices themselves.Coursework where an emphasis on securing SCADA and industrial control is present can beimportant in bridging the gap of understanding between disciplines.
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