Q-CERT organized Secure Energy 2013, a conference highlighting the latest information security trends, challenges and risks in the energy sector in Qatar. The one-day conference, was held at Crown Plaza Hotel, Doha, on February 21 and featured several interesting discussions and case studies in the ICS (Industrial Control Systems) threat landscape, challenges in securing ICS operation and other key areas of relevance to information security in the sector.
Khalid Al-Hashmi, Executive Director, Q-CERT, highlighted in his opening speech that Qatar’s progress in cyber security in the energy sector is being recognized the world over. He said that Japan CERT has shown keenness to copy the Qatari-made ICS Standard which will soon be issued in its 3rd revision for the state’s energy organizations.
The annual conference is a good platform to raise awareness on information security in the sector by sharing industry best practices and latest trends. Speakers at the conference included Chris Blask, Chief Architect, NorthWind Technologies Qatar and Chair of Industrial Control System Information Sharing and Analysis Center (ICS-ISAC); Peter Panholzer from Limes security and co-author of +SECURE; Jonathan Pollet, Founder of Red Tiger Security; Jim Gilsinn, Co-Chair of ISA99/IEC 62443; Omar Sherin, Critical Information Infrastructure Protection Manager, Q-CERT; and Mounir Kamal Incident Handling and Forensics Section Manager, Q-CERT.
“Qatar’s progress in cyber security in the energy sector; a vital sector for Qatar’s national economy, is being recognized the world over. In fact Japan CERT, for instance, is keen to replicate the Qatari-made SCADA security standard for the state’s energy organizations,” said Khalid Al-Hashmi, Executive Director, Q-CERT, speaking at the opening of the conference.
Omar Sherin, Critical Information Infrastructure Protection Manager, Q-CERT, shared his insights about Information Security Risk Management in ICS environments and announced that ictQATAR, will launch an iPAD application for energy and utilities organizations in qatar to measure their compliance with the new SCADA standard. The new SCADA Standard 3rd release has been developed following ictQATAR’s extensive consultations with energy corporations countrywide to make it localized with a Qatari approach and keeping abreast with latest technologies,and after including the lessons learned from all the attacks this region has witnessed” he said.
The conference was attended by over 100 people representing various Qatari energy corporations such as Qatar Petroleum and Qatargas.