Graduate Certificate Programs: Industrial Control Systems Security

Graduate Certificate Programs: Industrial Control Systems Security

Graduate Certificate Program in
Industrial Control Systems Security

Designed for working InfoSec and IT professionals, the graduate certificate in Industrial Control Systems Security is a highly technical, hands-on 12-credit-hour program focused on teaching the applied technologies used to defend and secure industrial control systems, operations technology, and cyber-physical systems. You'll be empowered to understand your networked industrial control system environment, monitor it for threats, perform incident response against identified threats, and use knowledge gained from interactions with the adversary to enhance network security and maintain the safety and reliability of operations.

A 100% online option is available.

Applications are accepted monthly. Learn more.

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Learn How To

  • Develop and reinforce a common language and understanding of Industrial Control System (ICS) cybersecurity as well as the important considerations that come with cyber-to-physical operations within these environments.
  • Understand secure architecture design and defense in-depth strategies to secure ICS environments that are increasingly integrated with industrial Internet of things (IIoT) and traditional business systems.
  • Deconstruct ICS targeting attacks and malware, understand normal ICS network baselines, and leverage active defense strategies that ensure safe and reliable operations.
  • Explore multiple approaches to NERC CIP compliance and how these standards can be used as the model for establishing strong management and governance controls and examine a series of architectures, strategies, and difficult compliance questions in a way that highlights the reliability and cybersecurity strengths of particular approaches.
  • Identify segmentation techniques that separate control traffic from other non-trusted traffic and methods to actively monitor ICS environments and respond to ICS incidents.

Curriculum | 12 credit hours

Click on each course title for a full description

Core Courses | 9 credit hours:
ISE 6515: ICS/SCADA Security Essentials   |   ICS 410, GICSP

Content: SANS ICS 410: ICS/SCADA Security Essentials
Assessment: GIAC GICSP Exam
3 Credit Hours

ISE 6515 ICS/SCADA Security Essentials is an introductory study of how information technologies and operational technologies have converged in today's industrial control system environments. This convergence has led to a greater need than ever for a common understanding between the various groups who support or rely on these systems. Students in ISE 6515 will learn the language, the underlying theory, and the basic tools for industrial control system security in settings across a wide range of industry sectors and applications.

ISE 6520: ICS Active Defense and Incident Response    |   ICS 515, GRID

Content: SANS ICS 515: ICS Active Defense and Incident Response
Assessment: GIAC GRID Exam
3 Credit Hours

ISE 6520 will empower students to understand their networked industrial control system environment, monitor it for threats, perform incident response against identified threats, and learn from interactions with the adversary to enhance network security.

ISE 6525: Essentials for NERC Critical Infrastructure Protection   |   ICS 456, GCIP

Content: SANS ICS 456: Essentials for NERC Critical Infrastructure Protection
Assessment: GIAC GCIP Exam
3 Credit Hours

ISE 6525 empowers students with knowledge of the "what" and the "how" of the version 5/6 standards. The course addresses the role of FERC, NERC and the Regional Entities, provides multiple approaches for identifying and categorizing BES Cyber Systems and helps asset owners determine the requirements applicable to specific implementations. Additionally, the course covers implementation strategies for the version 5/6 requirements with a balanced practitioner approach to both cybersecurity benefits, as well as regulatory compliance.

The NERC Critical Infrastructure Protection Essentials course was developed by SANS ICS team members with extensive electric industry experience including former Registered Entity Primary Contacts, a former NERC officer, and a Co-Chair of the NERC CIP Interpretation Drafting Team. Together the authors bring real-world, practitioner experience gained from developing and maintaining NERC CIP and NERC 693 compliance programs and actively participating in the standards development process.

Elective Course | 3 credit hours:
Technical Elective Course    |   SANS Class, GIAC Exam

Content: SANS Class
Assessment: GIAC Exam
3 Credit Hours

Students may choose any 3-credit hour technical course from an approved list of elective courses.

  • "I firmly believe, had it not been for SANS, my career would not be what it is today. My SANS education has enabled me to compete on a completely new level and given me the chance to network with industry greats."

    Steven Romero
    Engineer, Chevron

  • "I have my master's in computer science, but I completed two graduate certificate programs with SANS so I could truly dive deep into technical areas of cybersecurity and learn from instructors who are leading the industry."

    Jeff Sass
    Senior Engineering Manager, Adobe

  • "Enrolling in the SANS graduate program helped propel my professional journey, growing from an asset-based ICS Security Specialist to a global ICS Security subject matter expert."

    Mike Hoffman
    Principle ICS Security Engineer, Shell

The SANS Technology Institute Advantage

Online and In-Person Study Options

Flexibility for Working Professionals

  • Monthly admissions windows mean you can start on your schedule and earn the graduate certificate in roughly two years.

Credentials that Showcase Your Skills

  • Earn industry-recognized GIAC certifications that validate your skill set in critical, specialized areas of InfoSec.

World-class Faculty

Pathway to a Master's Degree

  • Credits earned in the certificate program may be applied directly toward the master's degree program should you later apply and be accepted.

Success Stories

Video gaming was the start of what would lead to Jeff Sass's decades-long career at Adobe.

Discover why he chose to pursue 3 graduate certificates at — and how the experience helped him win a promotion to manager.

Read Jeff’s story and other profiles here.

Quick Links

Admissions Deadlines & Application Requirements
Tuition & Options for Funding


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