As you may or may not know, I am a combat veteran. I sum up my career as simply this, I have done more than most but not as much as others.

During combat operations, we would conduct pre-combat inspections (PCI) before we left on patrol. As a team lead, it was my last chance to check my team members to make sure they had everything they needed for patrol and were ready for a fight, in case we made contact. The night before leaving on patrol, we were told to pack what we needed for mission success. That meant balancing out food, water, ammunition and other pieces of equipment to ensure the safety of the team for the duration of the mission. Once the inspection was done, we “mounted up and rolled out”.

Looking back now, I can see how well fortified and secure our main base was. Dozers were used to push earth around to build a perimeter and concrete bunkers were everywhere. Fort-like concrete barriers were on the perimeter and razor wire encircled the entire camp. Ultimately, there were many layers of counter measures from relatively inexpensive razor wire to hi-tech electronic devices, that kept the bad guys on the outside of the base.

But once you left “main side”, you were on your own. You had to provide for yourself and the safety of those around you. It truly was a team effort.

You had to have extra ammunition for the machine guns and extra batteries for radios and night vision goggles. The list goes on and on. The reason we had everything was simple. Someday, the only back up could be the person to your left and to your right. Meaning, as an infantry platoon, you may be cut off from the support from higher commands. No zoomies flying overhead to give air support. No helicopters to come and take away the wounded. No tankers, no armored vehicles, just you and your adversary.

Fortunately for me that kind of bad day never happened. We had support in one form or another.

In my mind’s eye, the same thing applies to cyber security for industrial control systems. Yes, I realize the smaller companies may not be able to afford to take the steps needed to become the hard target, but there still are many things they can do to protect themselves better. Many larger companies are allegedly on the move with their transition to embrace and secure the digital side of their energy production. They hire the subject matter experts for inhouse and they build their virtual barriers to protect their assets. In the Cyber arena, they become “main side” while smaller companies are left figuring out what they need to carry in order to survive outside the wire.

But what about the smaller companies? Are they outside the wire on their own? Yes and no.

Yes, they are on their own since no one can afford to wait for government funding for their cyber security programs. To be stagnant, almost guarantees mission failure. We must be proactive.

But these companies are not alone. Red Trident Inc. can help provide a vulnerability assessment to identify weaknesses and possible threats. We carry the proverbial survivor pack so you can focus on your mission at hand, while we help keep your assets safe. Contact us today to learn more about our vulnerability assessments.

Author: Damon Mathews