Cyber Shield, the U.S. National Guard’s national cyber-operations exercise, is designed to train National Guard members on cyber-protection, network defense, forensic analysis, tactics, techniques and procedures defense against cyberattacks and hackers. For the third year in a row, the International Society of Automation (ISA) provided operational technology (OT) training and on-site technical assistance in support of the cyber-operations exercise.

ISA was chosen as a mission partner of the National Guard due to its experience in developing the only consensus-based series of industrial cybersecurity standards, ISA/IEC 62443. These standards protect the industrial automation and control systems (IACS) and networks that operate OT machinery and associated devices within critical infrastructure. Without these defenses in place, industrial cyberattack can result in plant shutdown, operational and equipment impairment, severe economic and environmental damage, and public endangerment.

ISA was actively involved in supporting Cyber Shield 2018 during both phases of the exercise. During the first week, ISA instructors taught two ISA industrial cybersecurity courses: IACS Cybersecurity Design & Implementation (IC34) and IACS Cybersecurity Operations & Maintenance (IC37). During the second week, ISA provided on-site technical support.

The exercise supports the National Guard's missions to defend U.S. Department of Defense assets; conduct readiness inspections and critical infrastructure vulnerability assessments; and leverage new and emerging technologies for homeland defense.