Dr. Edward Colbert leads security research on methods for defending Army control systems and Internet of Things (IoT) systems in the Network Science Division at the US Army Research Laboratory (ARL). Before working at ARL, Dr. Colbert performed telecommunications research for the Department of Defense, Verizon, and the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory. Dr. Colbert received the Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering Physics from the University of Illinois (1987), the Master of Science in Physics from the University of Illinois (1988), the Master of Science in astronomy from the University of Maryland (1993), and the Ph.D.
In Astronomy from the University of Maryland (1997). Dr. Colbert holds a research professorship at the Catholic University of America in Washington, DC, and is currently advising several Ph.D. Students at various local institutions. He is also manages the Cyber-security research alliance at ARL, which is a joint academic research program between Army, industry, and academic partners. Dr. Colbert has over 50 publications in refereed journals, and is editor of a recent book by Springer entitled Cyber Security of SCADA and Other Industrial Control Systems.
Cyber Physical Systems (CPSs) are electronic control systems that control physical machines such as motors and valves in an industrial plant. In a networked environment, the security of the physical machines depends on the security of the electronic control systems, but cybersecurity is not typically the main design concern. The main concern for CPSs is the availability of the physical machines governing operations. As CPS owners continue to install remote network control devices and incorporate an increasing number of insecure Internet-of-Things (IoT) devices in their industrial processes, the underlying security of their operations becomes increasingly vulnerable. This article outlines current cybersecurity issues of CPSs and potential concerns for future CPS designers and operators. Secure future CPSs are necessary for keeping our critical infrastructure safe.