Responding to increasing cyber threats to industrial controls and supervisory control and data acquisition systems, Bechtel announced the opening of a new cyber security lab aimed at protecting equipment and software that control complex government facilities, power plants, chemical plants and other large-scale critical infrastructure.
The lab will also leverage Bechtel’s experience in designing and implementing National Institute of Standards and Technology Risk Management Framework (NIST-RMF) solutions for its government customers.
“The ability to access and control these systems over the Internet, while increasing efficiency, has also exposed some vulnerabilities. There is a dark side to the Internet of Things,” said Chad Hartman, program director in Bechtel’s government services business. “By using innovative solutions, this lab will give us the ability to test and secure critical systems in a safe environment, which translates into more secure, and resilient equipment for our customers.”
Bechtel also today announced a research arrangement with George Mason University to enable access to the laboratory for Mason students.
“These partnerships are critical for universities and for companies,” said Robert Osgood, director of Mason’s Computer Forensics program and a former FBI supervisory special agent in cyber-crime and counterterrorism. “The laboratory will provide research and internship opportunities for our students and open up a potential talent pipeline for Bechtel in a rapidly growing field.”
Patrick Fredericks, program manager for the Strategic Infrastructure Group (SIG) for Bechtel said “Whether we are talking about control systems or telecommunications infrastructure, there is a real need to develop innovative solutions that address the current world environment. The merging of technology in both of these areas requires a new approach that supports global deployment of integrated technology solutions on a large scale, while also addressing the threats that we see now and in the future.”
Hartman added, “Bechtel has been designing and engineering these large-scale infrastructure projects for decades, and because we know how to build them, we also have unique capabilities to protect them.”
Bechtel’s Nuclear, Security & Environmental global business unit has completed many large, first-of-a-kind projects in highly secure government site management, construction, environmental restoration, defense, space, energy, and national security.