Lesson 1D – Key Concepts in ICS and Cyber-Physical Systems

This lesson describes the components of an ICS (including RTU, PLC, PAC, SCADA, HMI, SIS, DCS) and their inter-relationships.

Learning Objectives
  • Describe the functions and purpose of an industrial control system (ICS)
  • Identify the components of an ICS and their interrelationships, including RTU, PLC, PAC, SCADA/DCS, SIS, and HMI
  • Explain the difference between information technology (IT) and operations technology (OT)
  • Explain the purpose of Safety-Instrumented Systems (SIS)
  • Define and provide examples of cyber-physical systems
  • Explain how ICS and ICS security will change between 2017-2030
Lesson 1D – Key Concepts in ICS and Cyber-Physical Systems Lesson Plan

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* NICE Cybersecurity Workforce Framework KSAs Addressed
  • K0309: Knowledge of emerging technologies that have potential for exploitation by adversaries.
  • K0335: Knowledge of current and emerging cyber technologies.
  • K0437: Knowledge of general SCADA system components.
  • K0612: Knowledge of what constitutes a “threat” to a network.
  • S0085: Skill in conducting audits or reviews of technical systems.
  • S0228: Skill in identifying critical target elements, to include critical target elements for the cyber domain.
  • S0278: Skill in tailoring analysis to the necessary levels (e.g., classification and organizational).
  • A0034: Ability to develop, update, and/or maintain standard operating procedures (SOPs).
* NSA/DHS Center of Excellence (CAE) KUs Addressed
  • Industrial Control Systems

* Most courseware content maps to NIST NICE Cybersecurity Workforce Framework (NCWF) Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities (KSAs) and/or NSA/DHS CAE Knowledge Units (KUs). For more information on KSAs and KUs, please visit:

KSAs: http://nvlpubs.nist.gov/nistpubs/SpecialPublications/NIST.SP.800-181.pdf

KUs: https://www.iad.gov/NIETP/documents/Requirements/CAE-CD_2019_Knowledge_Units.pdf