Control Systems Cybersecurity USA (8th annual live) Control Systems Cybersecurity USA (8th annual live)

Targeted Ransomware requires New Approaches to OT Cyber Risk Management (Physical Live)

- EDT
Stream and Physical Kenzies

Michael Firstenberg
Waterfall Security Solutions, Director of Industrial Security

Mike Firstenberg is the Director of Industrial Security for Waterfall Security. Mike brings almost two decades of experience in Control System Security, specializing in Control System Cyber Security. With a proven track record as a hands-on engineer - researching, designing, and implementing strategic security solutions, Mike has an established background working with governmental institutions, regulatory authorities, and industrial utilities. The former chair of the American Water SCADA Council, Mike studied Computer Science, Chemical Engineering, and Mathematics at the University of Pennsylvania, and has served as a speaker and panelist at numerous conferences and events.


Targeted ransomware has emerged as a major threat to industrial operations / OT systems. The Colonial Pipeline and JBS shutdowns are only the latest incident - in 2020, 53 industrial sites were shut down by targeted ransomware. The trend is likely to worsen - today's targeted attacks use tools and techniques comparable to those used exclusively by nation states only a half decade ago. 

Operational Technology (OT) cyber risk manages cyber threats to physical operations. Some enterprise security mechanisms are very costly to apply in OT systems because of extended safety, equipment protection and other OT risk management programs. We see emergency risk avoidance mechanisms which are unique to the OT space, but are under-utilized by enterprise risk management and security practitioners. 

This presentation highlights three such innovative cyber risk management approaches and examines their effectiveness against the pervasive threat of targeted ransomware with particular attention on the operations risk. The presentation will outline a simple and robust approach to managing OT cyber risks, including Security PHA Review (SPR), Consequence-Driven, Cyber-Informed Engineering (CCE), and Secure Operations Technology (SEC-OT). Secure sites in the industry are improving protection for their operations by cherry-picking techniques from these new methodologies. Join us for a whirlwind tour of trends in OT and industrial operations attacks and defenses.