Final days to save $150 on top-notch cyber security training at SANS Seattle Spring 2020! Register now.

London November 2017

London, United Kingdom | Mon, Nov 27, 2017 - Sat, Dec 2, 2017
This event is over,
but there are more training opportunities.

ICS410: ICS/SCADA Security Essentials Waitlist

Mon, November 27 - Fri, December 1, 2017

Great balance of mixing traditional cyber with ICS. No matter which side you come from the material is balanced to teach what you need to know.

Andrew Morris, Diageo PLC

Great introduction into ICS landscape and associated security concerns. The ICS material presented will provide immediate value relative to helping secure my company.

Mike Poulos, Coca-Cola Enterprises

SANS has joined forces with industry leaders to equip security professionals and control system engineers with the cybersecurity skills they need to defend national critical infrastructure. ICS410: ICS/SCADA Security Essentials provides a foundational set of standardized skills and knowledge for industrial cybersecurity professionals. The course is designed to ensure that the workforce involved in supporting and defending industrial control systems is trained to keep the operational environment safe, secure, and resilient against current and emerging cyber threats.


The course will provide you with:

  • An understanding of industrial control system components, purposes, deployments, significant drivers, and constraints.
  • Hands-on lab learning experiences to control system attack surfaces, methods, and tools
  • Control system approaches to system and network defense architectures and techniques
  • Incident-response skills in a control system environment
  • Governance models and resources for industrial cybersecurity professionals.

When examining the greatest risks and needs in critical infrastructure sectors, the course authors looked carefully at the core security principles necessary for the range of tasks involved in supporting control systems on a daily basis. While other courses are available for higher-level security practitioners who need to develop specific skills such as industrial control system penetration testing, vulnerability analysis, malware analysis, forensics, secure coding, and red team training, most of these courses do not focus on the people who operate, manage, design, implement, monitor, and integrate critical infrastructure production control systems.

With the dynamic nature of industrial control systems, many engineers do not fully understand the features and risks of many devices. In addition, IT support personnel who provide the communications paths and network defenses do not always grasp the systems' operational drivers and constraints. This course is designed to help traditional IT personnel fully understand the design principles underlying control systems and how to support those systems in a manner that ensures availability and integrity. In parallel, the course addresses the need for control system engineers and operators to better understand the important role they play in cybersecurity. This starts by ensuring that a control system is designed and engineered with cybersecurity built into it, and that cybersecurity has the same level of focus as system reliability throughout the system lifecycle.

When these different groups of professionals complete this course, they will have developed an appreciation, understanding, and common language that will enable them to work together to secure their industrial control system environments. The course will help develop cyber-secure-aware engineering practices and real-time control system IT /OT support carried out by professionals who understand the physical effects of actions in the cyber world.


Course Content Overlap Notice:

Please note that some course material for SEC401 may overlap with ICS410. We recommend ICS410 for those interested in security for an ICS/SCADA environment as it is approached from this viewpoint, and SEC401 for those primarily interested in a general information security course.

Course Syllabus

Justin Searle
Mon Nov 27th, 2017
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM


Takeaway: Students will develop and reinforce a common language and understanding of Industrial Control System (ICS) cybersecurity as well as the important considerations that come with cyber-to-physical operations within these environments. Each student will receive programmable logic controller (PLC) hardware to keep. The PLC contains physical inputs and outputs that will be programmed in class and mapped to an operator interface, or HMI, also created in class. This improved hardware-enabled approach provides the necessary cyber-to-physical knowledge that allows students to better understand important ICS operational drivers and constraints that require specific safety protection, communications needs, system management approaches, and cybersecurity implementations. Essential terms, architectures, methodologies, and devices are all covered to build a common language for students from a variety of different roles.

CPE/CMU Credits: 6


Day 1 ICS Overview

  • Global Industrial Cybersecurity Professional (GICSP) Overview
  • Overview of ICS
    • Processes & Roles
    • Industries
  • Field Components
    • Real-Time Operating Systems
  • Programming Controllers
    • Exercise: PLC Programming
  • Supervisory Components
    • Specialized Applications
    • Master Servers
    • Exercise: HMI Programming
  • Types of ICS Systems
    • DCS vs. SCADA
  • IT & ICS Differences
    • ICS Lifecycle Challenges
  • Physical Security
  • ICS Network Architecture
    • Network Models
    • Design Example
    • Exercise: Architecting a Secure DCS

Justin Searle
Tue Nov 28th, 2017
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM


Takeaway: If you know the adversary's approaches to attacking an ICS environment, you will be better prepared to defend that environment. Numerous attack vectors exist within an ICS environment. Some are similar to traditional IT systems, while others are more specific to ICS. During Day 2 defenders will develop a better understanding of where these specific attack vectors exist, as well as the tools to use to discover vulnerabilities and exploit them. Each student will use a vulnerable target virtual machine to further understand attacks targeting the types of web servers used on many ICS devices for management purposes. Simulators will be configured to allow students to conduct attacks against unauthenticated ICS protocols. A variety of data samples are used to examine additional attack vectors on remote devices.

CPE/CMU Credits: 6


Day 2: ICS Attack Surface

  • ICS Attack Surface
    • Exercise: Information Leakage
  • Attacks on HMIs and UIs
    • Intro to SamuraiSTFU
    • Exercise: Password Fuzzing
    • Web Attacks
    • Exercise: Authentication Bypass with SQL Injection
  • Attacks on Control Servers
  • Attacks on Network Communications
    • Exercise: Spoofing Modbus
  • Attacks on Remote Devices
    • Exercise: Analyzing Firmware
    • Firmware Attacks

Justin Searle
Wed Nov 29th, 2017
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM


Takeaway: Students will learn essential ICS-related server and workstation operating system capabilities, implementation approaches, and system management practices. Students will receive and work with both Windows- and Linux-based virtual machines in order to understand how to monitor and harden these hosts from attack. Students will examine concepts that benefit ICS systems such as system hardening, log management, monitoring, alerting, and audit approaches, then look at some of the more common applications and databases used in ICS environments across multiple industries.

CPE/CMU Credits: 6


Day 3: Defending ICS Servers and Workstations

  • Windows in ICS
  • Linux/Unix in ICS
  • Updates and Patching
  • Processes and Services
  • Configuration Hardening
    • Exercise: Bastille Linux
  • Endpoint Defenses
    • Exercise: Firewalls
  • Automation and Auditing
    • Exercise: Powershell
  • Log Management
    • Exercise: Windows Logs
  • Databases and Historians

Justin Searle
Thu Nov 30th, 2017
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM


Takeaway: With an understanding of the ICS environment, the attack vectors that exist, and the defender-specific capabilities available on servers, workstations, and applications, students will now learn network-specific defense approaches. We'll first examine common IT protocols and network components used within ICS environments, then discuss ICS-specific protocols and devices. Technologies used to defend ICS networks will be reviewed along with implementation approaches. Students will interact with ICS traffic and develop skills to analyze it, then work through a number of tools to further explore a series of staged adversary actions conducted in a lab environment.

CPE/CMU Credits: 6


Day 4: Defending ICS Networks and Devices

  • Network Fundamentals
  • Ethernet
  • TCP/IP Protocol Suite
  • ICS Protocols over TCP/IP
    • Exercise: Network Capture Analysis
  • Enforcement Zone Devices
    • Firewalls
    • Unidirectional Gateways
  • Honeypots
  • Wireless in Control Systems
    • Satellite Protocols
    • Mesh Protocols
    • Bluetooth and WiFi
    • Defenses
  • Exercise: Network Capture Forensics
  • Field and Plant Floor Equipment
  • Cryptography Fundamentals

Justin Searle
Fri Dec 1st, 2017
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM


Takeaway: Students will learn about the various models, methodologies, and industry-specific regulations that are used to govern what must be done to protect critical ICS systems. Key business processes that consider risk assessments, disaster recovery, business impact analysis, and contingency planning will be examined from the perspective of ICS environments. On this final course day, students will work together on an incident response exercise that places them squarely in an ICS environment that is under attack. This exercise ties together key aspects of what has been learned throughout the course and presents students with a scenario to review with their peers. Specific incident-response roles and responsibilities are considered, and actions available to defenders throughout the incident response cycle are explored. Students will leave with a variety of resources for multiple industries and will be well prepared to pursue the GICSP, an important ICS-focused professional certification.

CPE/CMU Credits: 6


Day 5: ICS Security Governance

  • Information Assurance Foundations
    • Data Classification
    • Depth in Defense
  • Security Policies
    • Policy Hierarchy
    • Policy Governance
  • Contingency and Continuity Planning
  • Risk Assessment and Auditing
    • Risk Governance
    • Calculating Risk
  • Exercise: Attack Tree Analysis
  • Password Management
  • Incident Handling
    • Six Steps
    • Table Top Exercise
  • Exercise: Incident Response
  • Resources

Additional Information

The ICS410 Industrial Control System Security Essentials course consists of instruction and hands-on exercises. The exercises are designed to allow students to put knowledge gained throughout the course into practice in an instructor-led environment. Students will have the opportunity to install, configure, and use the tools and techniques that they have learned.

NOTE: Do not bring a regular production laptop for this class! When installing software, there is always a chance of breaking something else on the system. Students should assume that all data could be lost.

NOTE: It is critical that students have administrator access to the operating system and the ability to disable all security software installed. Changes may need to be made to personal firewalls and other host-based software in order for the labs to work.

Laptop requirements include the following:

  • 64-bit processor with 64-bit operating system
  • VT or other 64-bit virtualization settings enabled in your BIOS to run 64-bit VMs
  • At least eight (8) GB of RAM
  • At least fifty (50) GB of free hard drive space
  • At least one USB port
  • VMware Player 12, VMware Workstation 12, or VWware Fusion 8 installed BEFORE class. Other virtualization software such as Parallels or VirtualBox may work if the attendee is familiar with its functionality, however VMware should be pre-installed as a backup just in case
  • Access to an account with administrative permissions and the ability to disable all security software on their laptop such as Antivirus and/or firewalls if needed for the class
  • If you are using Linux for your host machine, you will need ExFAT drivers installed for the USB drive

If you have additional questions about the laptop specifications, please contact

The course is designed for the range of individuals who work in, interact with, or can affect industrial control system environments, including asset owners, vendors, integrators, and other third parties. These personnel primarily come from four domains:

  • IT (includes operational technology support)
  • IT security (includes operational technology security)
  • Engineering
  • Corporate, industry, and professional standards

Course participants need to have a basic understanding of networking and system administration, TCP/IP, networking design/architecture, vulnerability assessment, and risk methodologies. ICS410 covers many of the core areas of security and assumes a basic understanding of technology, networks, and security. For those who are brand new to the field and have no background knowledge, SEC301: Intro to Information Security would be the recommended starting point. While SEC301 is not a prerequisite, it provides introductory knowledge that will help maximize a student's experience with ICS410.

  • Software tools
  • Virtual Machine environments will be utilized throughout the labs
  • MP3 audio files of the complete course lecture
  • A license to Windows 10 and a hardware PLC for students to use in class and take home with them

  • Run Windows command line tools to analyze the system looking for high-risk items
  • Run Linux command line tools (ps, ls, netstat, ect) and basic scripting to automate the running of programs to perform continuous monitoring of various tools
  • Install VMWare and create virtual machines to create a virtual lab to test and evaluate tools/security of systems
  • Better understand various industrial control systems and their purpose, application, function, and dependencies on network IP and industrial communications
  • Work with operating systems (system administration concepts for Unix/Linux and/or Windows operating systems)
  • Work with network infrastructure design (network architecture concepts, including topology, protocols, and components)
  • Better understand the systems' security lifecycle
  • Better understand information assurance principles and tenets (confidentiality, integrity, availability, authentication, non-repudiation)
  • Use your skills in computer network defense (detecting host and network-based intrusions via intrusion detection technologies)
  • Implement incident response and handling methodologies

  • Introduction to Samurai STFU
  • Architect a secure DCS
  • Information Leakage
  • Password Fuzzing
  • Bypassing Authentication with SQLi
  • Spoofing Modbus-TCP control signals
  • Finding Passwords in EEPROM dumps
  • Host Based Firewalls
  • Linux Hardening
  • ICS Network Capture Analysis
  • Network Capture Forensics
  • Attack Tree Analysis
  • Incident response exercise

Courses that lead in to ICS410:

  • SEC301
  • STH Modules
  • STH.Engineer Modules

Courses that are prerequisites:

  • SEC301 is not required, but it is recommended that students either take that course or have a working knowledge of the concepts taught in it.

Courses that are good follow-ups:

Author Statement

Eric Cole, Eric Cornelius, and Justin Searle

This course provides students with the essentials for conducting cybersecurity work in industrial control system environments. After spending years working with industry, we believe there is a gap in the skill sets of industrial control system personnel, whether it be cybersecurity skills for engineers or engineering principles for cybersecurity experts. In addition, both information technology and operational technology roles have converged in today's industrial control system environments, so there is a greater need than ever for a common understanding between the various groups who support or rely on these systems. Students in ICS410 will learn the language, the underlying theory, and the basic tools for industrial control system security in settings across a wide range of industry sectors and applications.