One of the most interesting areas of Industrial Control Systems (ICS) is the SCADA subset. If you are involved in ICS/SCADA, the SCADA Security Architect (CSSA) certification can help take your career to the next level. For those who do not know, SCADA stands for Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition and is typically implemented in a range of processes including infrastructure, industrial and facility processes. A few processes that require SCADA include power generation, civil defense siren systems, oil and gas pipelines, space stations and communication systems among many others.

Most organizations or industries that have implemented SCADA systems require a certified SCADA security architect for a variety of reasons. The SCADA system has evolved through 4 different generations, which are monolithic, distributed, networked, and the internet of things, helps in tying decentralized facilities together. Most often than not, the SCADA systems are connected to one another and other office networks, making them susceptible to a variety of network attacks. This is where a certified SCADA security architect (CSSA) plays a key role in identifying risks, mitigating those risks by implementing necessary controls, and maintaining an acceptable risk level through continuous monitoring and evaluation.

Why CSSA is so popular

The essence of Certified SCADA Security Architect (CSSA) lies in its ability to impart relevant knowledge to an individual regarding securing of a SCADA system. Once a candidate completes the SCADA certification they will be in a position to secure SCADA environments by establishing security, enforcing policy, and evaluating results. The certified SCADA security architect program imparts essential knowledge and real world experience to individuals in the field working with the real time critical processing systems. The CSSA not only provides an individual with SCADA system expertise but also enlightens them on SCADA vulnerability analysis and operations network analysis.

Average Pay after CSSA Certification

Certified SCADA Security Architect (CSSA) is one of the top certifications available in SCADA system management and security. On completion of the certification, you can start with an average annual salary of $87,000. The national salary trend for CSSA has seen some highs and lows and has been rising steadily since February 2014 as can be seen from the following graph:

SCADA Salary
Job titles for CSSA certified professionals

Once you are a Certified SCADA Security Architect (CSSA), the entry level job title can vary from being a Scada Technician to Scada Services Engineer, Scada Security Engineer, and Scada Security architect. The mid and senior level designations will vary from organization to organization and depending on your level of expertise and experience. The most common job titles include Sr. Cyber Security architect, Cyber Security Systems Engineer, and Sr. SCADA Engineer among others.

What sets CSSA certification apart from other SCADA security certifications?

The Certified SCADA Security Architect (CSSA) program is one of a kind program developed by the Information Assurance Certification Review Board (IACRB). It has been designed specifically for industries like oil and gas, power transmission, and water treatment industries. The CSSA program ensures that individuals possess relevant knowledge and have necessary skills to perform their job related to SCADA security. The core areas that the CSSA program focuses on include:

  • SCADA security standards and best practices: This includes securing process control and SCADA systems, understanding of business risks and implementing secured architecture
  • SCADA security policy development: This includes hands-on real time experience on designing a SCADA security policy
  • Access Control
  • SCADA protocol security issues: Includes working on the guiding principles of Protect, Detect and Respond
  • Securing field communications
  • User authentication and authorization
  • Detecting cyber attacks on SCADA systems
  • Vulnerability Assessment

If you’re interested in pursuing the SCADA Security Architect Certification fill out the form below for a course syllabus and pricing information¬†on our various training options.