The food we eat and water we drink, the petroleum products that fuel our cars and heat our homes, and the electricity that powers our modern society all rely on industrial control systems. The measurement and control devices that make-up an industrial control system are collectively known as operational technology. Today’s operational technology often employs embedded hardware and operating systems and Ethernet-based networking interfaces that make them susceptible to the same electronic attacks that plagues traditional information technology. This has created a significant need for, and shortage of, network security professionals that understand the unique computing and networking requirements of industrial control systems. The School of Energy and the School of Computing and Academic Studies have partnered in offering a new interdisciplinary Diploma in Industrial Network Cybersecurity that will prepare graduates for entry level positions in this emerging occupation. Students undertake a comprehensive study of industrial measurement and control technologies; computer information technologies; and networking, industrial networking and industrial network cybersecurity. A strong component of the program involves the development of relevant, practical skills by working with modern industrial equipment in well-equipped labs. Students will graduate with a solid foundation in industrial networking and industrial network cybersecurity.
Industrial, manufacturing and critical infrastructure organizations can be divided into two distinct entities – plant operations and business operations. Plant operations produces goods for consumption whereas business operations manages the financial well being of the organization. Business operations employs traditional information and networking technology to manage daily operations. Plant operations employs operational technology such as sensors, controllers, and final control elements to automate production of consumables. This program focuses on preparing graduates to provide industrial networking and industrial network security for the operational technology on the plant side of an organization. The diagram below illustrates where we intend to place graduates of the Industrial Network Cybersecurity program.
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The Industrial Network Cybersecurity program is a full-time two year diploma that provides a solid, practical competence in industrial networking and industrial network cybersecurity, industrial measurement and control technologies, and computer information technology that is built upon strong and relevant foundations. This program is committed to providing professional, interdisciplinary training and prepares students to be effective critical thinkers in industrial networking technology, capable of collaborative expression based on a clear understanding of industrial processes, control systems, network security and its practice.
The Industrial Network Cybersecurity program consists of twenty-five courses over two years with a summer break between the first and second year. Students can expect to spend an average of twenty-five hours a week in lectures and labs split approximately 50/50. This balanced approach gives you time to apply the theory in a practical lab environment. In addition, you should expect an additional twenty-five hours per week preparing for labs, completing assignments and studying. In this program, you will focus on industrial networking and industrial network cybersecurity where the emphasis will be on protecting the assets of industrial, manufacturing and critical infrastructure facilities.
Industrial Network Cybersecurity graduates are expected to be employed in positions that support the networking and network security of operational technology and industrial networks. In the workplace, you will be expected to: communicate knowledgeably with automation and information technology professionals; plan, select, configure and deploy networking solutions for operational technology and industrial networks; select and deploy network security appliances, software and counter measures to provide defence in depth for the operational technology and industrial networks; and perform a simple risk assessment of an industrial network and assist with integrating current and evolving industrial control system security standards into an organization’s industrial security policy.
Demand for Industrial Network Cybersecurity graduates is expected to span multiple industry segments. You might work in engineering consulting firms, manufacturing companies, energy management firms, food-and-beverage processing plants, technical sales and service, the natural resources, or the mining industry. You might work in an environment where you’re designing, analyzing, configuring or providing technical services involving the application of industrial networks, or in a fast-paced environment where you are involved in many of the above facets, either alone or as part of a team.
David Leversage, BEng, PEng
Program Head, Industrial Network Cybersecurity
Amir Yousefi, PhD, PEng
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