Former DHS Director Sean Paul McGurk Joins ICS ISAC

Tuesday, May 22, 2012



Architect of US National critical infrastructure cybersecurity system to drive global knowledge sharing and coordination through ICS ISAC

Sean Paul McGurk, former Director of the Department of Homeland Security’s Control System Security Program is joining ICS Cybersecurity, Inc. in the position of Chief Policy Officer, effective immediately.

In this capacity, McGurk will also lead policy development for the Industrial Controls Systems Information Sharing and Analysis Center (ICS ISAC).

Mr. McGurk’s extensive experience combating cybercrime will aid both organizations’ efforts to build sustainable security intelligence for industrial control systems. .

Securing national and global critical infrastructure against the growing threats to the cyber systems that control them has become an increasingly important issue within the last 12 months. At the recent ICSJWG meeting, DHS recounted that 106,000 incidents led to more than 5,000 advisories in 2011.

Discovery of malware such as Stuxnet and Duqu has led to the recognition of broader systemic vulnerabilities within critical infrastructure and the supporting ecosystems, which have been until recently largely disconnected. Addressing the resiliency of these systems must occur at technical, organizational and policy levels.

“ICS Cybersecurity’s leadership in the creation of the Industrial Control System Information Sharing and Analysis Center (ICS-ISAC) was a major factor in my decision to join the team,” said Mr. McGurk, Chief Policy Advisor for the ICS-ISAC.

“Other sectors have strong private-sector groups that the government can work with to address issues of national security. The ICS-ISAC has been needed by the teams I worked with in the federal government. Now, ICS-ISAC and ICS Cybersecurity are filling those gaps.”

Beyond his ICS-ISAC involvement, McGurk will drive other policy and programs within ICS Cybersecurity.

“Creating the global knowledge sharing network necessary to address cyber threats to critical infrastructure is a monumental and audacious task, requiring the involvement of a broad array of private and public stakeholders to be successful,” stated Chris Blask, Founder and CEO of ICS Cybersecurity, Inc. and Chair of the ICS ISAC. “Sean McGurk’s unparalleled public sector experience with industrial control system security makes him a uniquely valuable addition to our team.”

Other industry stake holders’ perspectives:

Paul Forney, Chief Technologist at Invensys, says Mr. McGurk’s choice is a strong message to the industry.

“Sean built the national system we have now. When he advocates for an effort it is important that those in the industry pay attention. The ICS-ISAC that Sean and ICS Cybersecurity are creating is something we see as a vehicle to simplify the information sharing requirements we as a vendor are faced with. If this effort is any indication of what else the team is up to, and I have reason to believe it is, then this move by Sean will substantially impact progress on the related issues throughout the industry.”

Graham Speake, Principal Systems Architect at Yokogawa, concurs.

“Sean McGurk endorsing the ICS-ISAC added demonstrable validation to our own interest in this effort. His decision to fully commit to the advancement of the architectures Chris and his team have been advocating is an endorsement that is hard to ignore.”

About Sean Paul McGurk:

In his new role, Mr. McGurk will be responsible for driving public and private sector policy relationships.

Mr. McGurk served 28 in the United States Navy, where, as part of the Nuclear Weapons Program, he served on six fleet ballistic missile submarines and several shore facilities. He led two submarines as Chief of the Boat, and served as the Command Master Chief for a Tactical Electronics Warfare Squadron and the Navy’s only forward deployed Carrier Air Wing.

He worked as an arms control inspector for the Department of Defense where he conducted numerous inspections throughout the Soviet Union and subsequent Commonwealth of Independent States in accordance with the Intermediate Nuclear Forces (INF), the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) and the Conventional Armed Forces in Europe Treaties. His final assignment was as the Executive Assistant to the Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy, the senior leader for a workforce of over 400,000 people in all fifty states and 109 foreign countries.

In January of 2008 Mr. McGurk was selected as the Director of the Control Systems Security Program, National Cyber Security Division in the Department of Homeland Security. In this role he lead the creation of the existing national assets deployed to address the risk of cyber threats to critical infrastructure and key resources, including the Department of Homeland Security’s Industrial Control System Joint Working Group (ICSJWG), Industrial Control System Computer Emergency Response Team (ICS-CERT) and the National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center (NCCIC).

About ICS Cybersecurity, Inc.:  ICS Cybersecurity is building sustainable security intelligence for industrial control systems vendors, operators and public entities. The company promotes regional, national and global knowledge sharing and has established such non-profit efforts as the LIGHTS program and the Industrial Control System Information Sharing and Analysis Center (ICS-ISAC) in support of that emerging architecture.

Possibly Related Articles:
SCADA Cyber Security Stuxnet Headlines Infrastructure Industrial Control Systems LIGHTS Information Sharing ICS ISAC
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