Governance & Risk Management , Operational Technology (OT) , Video

Bridging the Gap: Cybersecurity Workforce Development

Sean McBride of Idaho State University on Unified Cybersecurity Front for IT and OT
Sean McBride, industrial cybersecurity program coordinator, Idaho State University

Cybersecurity workforce development is critical as IT and OT converge. Sean McBride, director of the informatics research institute at Idaho State University, advises organizations to train people with the "skills, attitudes and behaviors" to manage and protect critical systems.

See Also: From Data to Decisions: Maximizing Operational Efficiency Through IT-OT Integration

McBride runs the nation's only industrial cybersecurity engineering technology program, preparing students to bridge the gap between IT and OT. The program addresses this by combining hands-on technical skills with essential cybersecurity knowledge. It also helps students understand the regulatory aspects of cybersecurity, ensuring they can design systems that mitigate cyber risks.

"We need students who understand how cyberattacks occur, how to program PLCs and how to design physical safeguards and the systems that make them not hackable," McBride said.

In this video interview with Information Security Media Group at the Cyber Security for Critical Assets USA Summit in Houston, McBride also discussed:

  • The challenges of bridging the IT and OT cultural divide;
  • The value of tabletop exercises and site visits to understand operational realities;
  • The evolving demands of industrial cybersecurity.

At the Idaho National Laboratory, McBride implemented and led the vulnerability analysis and situational awareness reporting elements foundational to the Department of Homeland Security's ICS-CERT. Prior to joining Idaho State University, he pioneered the multidisciplinary field of threat and vulnerability intelligence for industrial environments.

About the Author

Tom Field

Tom Field

Senior Vice President, Editorial, ISMG

Field is responsible for all of ISMG's 28 global media properties and its team of journalists. He also helped to develop and lead ISMG's award-winning summit series that has brought together security practitioners and industry influencers from around the world, as well as ISMG's series of exclusive executive roundtables.

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