Digital Engineering Expo 2022
1st Aug 2023 - 1st Sep 2023

ICS Lab is a unique environment for developing and testing new cybersecurity solutions

The number of cyberattacks in the world is growing dramatically. Unfortunately, Ukraine is no exception. Moreover, we are a kind of "test site" for cyber wars, where new methods and approaches are being tested.
According to a survey conducted by the USAID Cybersecurity for Critical Infrastructure in Ukraine project, more than 67% of Ukrainian companies have faced cybersecurity issues in the last two years. Every third company was a victim of cybercriminals more than three times a month.
If businesses understand the importance of cybersecurity, why can't they provide it? The answer is obvious - it is impossible to build a fully protected system. No company, organization or state can do this by themselves.
A massive cyberattack can be compared to the COVID-19 pandemic. It takes a lot of resources to figure out what is happening, how it happened, and what to do next in a short time. Moreover, it is necessary to quickly spread new knowledge among others so that they understand the essence of the problem and start acting. Only in this way, by joint efforts, the consequences of the attack can be minimized.
If you can effectively fight back only as a group, then it is also more appropriate to prepare for possible cyber threats together, in a collaboration of business, public sector, international partners and the Government.
This is the main idea of launching in Ukraine Industrial Control Systems (ICS) Cybersecurity Laboratory or ICS Lab.
Industrial Cyber Security Lab is an environment for collaboration & learning, developing and testing new cybersecurity solutions to defend industrial control systems (ICS) and critical infrastructure from cyberattacks.
The Lab aims to coordinate the efforts of industry partners, state- and privately-owned critical infrastructure operators, vendors, cybersecurity-related businesses, researchers, as well as government agencies and international donors. ICS Lab is a tool where critical infrastructure operators receive training on ICS technologies, and in which industrial control IT and OT systems, equipment, and technologies can be demonstrated, tested, and simulated in a secure environment.
ICS Lab has launched as a part of USAID Cybersecurity for Critical Infrastructure in Ukraine Activity. It’s a 4-year project funded by U.S. Agency for International Development to reduce cybersecurity vulnerabilities in critical infrastructure and transform Ukraine into a resilient, agile cybersecurity leader.
ISSP - Information Systems Security Partners - an international full-cycle professional cybersecurity company is one of the implementing partners of the laboratory and the project.
ICS lab was developed to:
Enhance technical expertise to provide cybersecurity professionals with the best services and cutting-edge knowledge and skills.
Facilitate collaboration, co-creation, and knowledge sharing among organizations and cyber specialists.
Conduct experiments, research and innovation to address a dynamic threat landscape with advanced technology.
Explore and test cyber security solutions that are safe to use within an industrial control environment.
The Lab has three key focus areas:
Research and Development
To develop and test cyber security implementation processes and standards for software, hardware, appliances, architecture, controls and politics.
To facilitate and promote research and experiments on cybersecurity preparedness and vulnerability of CI in Ukraine.
To document and produce whitepapers on new ideas, approaches and solutions for increased cybersecurity resilience in the context of ICS.
Test and Certificate
To test new approaches, technology or ideas related to ICS and CI security.
To validate and certify that new security solutions are safe to operate within an industrial control environment based on a set of experiments.
To test, evaluate and certify cybersecurity experts on various cybersecurity aspects, including those related to ICS.
Demo, Training and Collaboration
To showcase real-life ICS and relevant equipment, systems, software and hardware to train and equip with relevant knowledge and skills cybersecurity professionals.
To demo the latest solutions, pieces of equipment for cybersecurity professionals.
To collaborate with scientists, researchers, industry partners, vendors, the government on cybersecurity-related research, academic program and projects.
ICS Lab is a collaborative & learning space to hold, promote and facilitate

All elements of ICS Lab are closely interconnected

It is obvious that no organization or company having limited human, financial and technological resources is able to test all new technologies and estimate their pros and cons. It's best to combine efforts, conduct joint testing, and determine which solution or equipment is best for a particular energy company, pharmaceutical plant, or transportation infrastructure facility.
We need qualified specialists for the equipment to work effectively. And the USAID Cybersecurity for Critical Infrastructure in Ukraine project has already done a lot to improve the skills of industry professionals. ISSP as an implementing partner conducted more than 20 trainings and enhanced the level of knowledge of 240 specialists.
At the same time, upskilling industry professionals is not enough, it is necessary to train new ones. According to the above-mentioned USAID survey, 69% of companies are short of highly qualified cybersecurity personnel. Therefore, it is necessary to develop mutually beneficial cooperation with universities. Students will be able to learn advanced technologies today without waiting for them to be implemented in critical infrastructure.
The ICS Lab will be a unique space for establishing professional ties and developing the entire Ukrainian cyber community. These are the exact conditions that are needed to facilitate our own innovative solutions and build an effective cybersecurity ecosystem in Ukraine.
Moreover, in order to achieve sustainable development of the industry, it is necessary not only to improve existing capabilities but also to create new ones. ICS Cybersecurity Lab will be a platform for training new instructors and trainers. They will be able to enrich their own academic experience, as well as gain new practical knowledge due to the unique capabilities of the laboratory ecosystem.
So, please join us in developing Ukraine’s cybersecurity capacity.