Australia looks to US for infrastructure security training

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Australian Government funds cyber-security field trip.

Australian businesses that run "critical infrastructure" have been earmarked for at least $35,000 from the Federal Government to attend a five-day cyber-security training course in the US next month.

The Industrial Control Systems Cyber Security Advanced Training was developed by the US Department of Homeland Security and the Australian Government's Attorney-General department.

Entry to the course that accommodated up to 35 participants was by expressions of interest, which are now closed.

The Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy (DBCDE) will pay for at least seven companies to attend: Hydro Electric Corporation, ActewAGL (Electrical Distribution), Hunter Water Australia, Sunshine Coast Regional Council (Sunshine Coast Water), Public Transport Authority WA, Goulburn Valley Region Water Corporation (Goulburn Valley Water) and ElectraNet.

"This event will provide intensive hands-on training on protecting and securing control systems from cyber attacks, including a Red Team/Blue Team exercise that will be conducted within an actual control systems environment," the conference brochure [PDF] read.

"It will also provide an opportunity to network and collaborate with other colleagues involved in operating and protecting control systems networks."

Those attending the Control Systems Analysis Centre in Idaho Falls will receive "four full days of intensive control systems security training and presentations".

The DBCDE is as yet unsure as to whether one of its staff would be attending the training course.

A spokesperson for Minister Conroy said the Advanced Cyber Security Training Program is "a key initiative in the ongoing education of control systems security industry practitioners."

Industry participants in the 2009 program will be expected to educate the wider Australian SCADA community on the sessions and develop Australian good practice guides for process control security, the spokesperson said.


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