Cybersecurity Through Real-Time Distributed Control Systems

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Executive Summary

Critical infrastructure sites and facilities are becoming increasingly dependent on interconnected physical and cyber-based Real-Time Distributed Control Systems (RTDCSs). A mounting cybersecurity threat results from the nature of these ubiquitous and sometimes unrestrained communications interconnections. Much work is under way in numerous organizations to characterize the cyber threat, determine means to minimize risk, and develop mitigation strategies to address potential consequences. While it seems natural that a simple application of cyber-protection methods derived from corporate business Information Technology (IT) domain would lead to an acceptable solution, the reality is that the characteristics of RTDCSs make many of those methods inadequate and unsatisfactory or even harmful.

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