Saturday, August 11, 2012

Perhaps Better Fettered: 2nd Thoughts on ENISA's Cybersecurity Report from this Side of the Pond

Had a number of reader responses to this week's post on the European information security organization's proclamation of intent and recommendations for the electric sector and Smart Grid. 

My post welcomed the attention to the issue by the EU, but expressed, hopefully in a mainly professional way, that this feels, to invoke a common American idiom, a day late and a dollar short.

Here are two additional observations I got:
1. One US respondent says "It contains no call for cooperation with US-CERT, FERC or equivalent body on problems that are clearly of interest to both sides. Compare with various DHS initiatives (such as DHS ICSJWG) which have included foreign participants."
Concur. References to SANS, NIST and DHS in the bibliography notwithstanding, it does appear that explicit calls for trans Atlantic, interagency cooperation are missing, and that this should be rectified in a next version.
2. Another true blue American notes "ENISA reports do not adequately address control systems."
While the bibliography is littered with entries for SCADA and Control Systems-related texts, it doesn't seem like much of that research made it into the final document. Still, while most of the 10 recommendations involve getting ready to get ready to do something, and control system security seems to be largely glossed over, there is, in requirement 6, language that might point to operational systems at some point:
Recommendation 6. Both the EC and the MS competent authorities should promote the development of security certification schemes for components, products and organisational security.
So I'll leave it at that for now. Would welcome an ENISA response. I always try to not be too hard on 1.0 documents because there's always the chance, if not the likelihood, that we'll see them improve in subsequent versions.

I know it doesn't want to be a fetterer, but my sense is that Europe will come to see the wisdom of getting a bit more explicit and comprehensive in these matters.  I know from experience that some of its utilities are looking for more guidance. OK? Back to the Olympics!