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Bechtel establishes cyber security lab

It is also collaborating with George Mason University in Virginia to enable students to access the lab for research and internships

The lab aims to protect equipment and software that controls critical infrastructure
The lab aims to protect equipment and software that controls critical infrastructure

Bechtel's lab will provide an opportunity to test and secure critical systems in a safe environment

Controlling systems over the internet has increased efficiencies but also exposed vulnerabilities

Global engineering and construction company Bechtel is opening a new cyber security lab aimed at protecting equipment and software that control complex government facilities, power plants, chemical plants, and other critical infrastructure.


The lab will also leverage Bechtel’s proven experience in designing and implementing National Institute of Standards and Technology Risk Management Framework (NIST-RMF) solutions for its government customers.


"The ability to access and control these systems over the Internet, while increasing efficiency, has also exposed some vulnerabilities. There is a dark side to the Internet of Things," said Chad Hartman, programme director in Bechtel’s government services business. "By using innovative solutions, this lab will give us the ability to test and secure critical systems in a safe environment, which translates into more secure, and resilient equipment for our customers."


He adds: "Bechtel has been designing and engineering these large-scale infrastructure projects for decades, and because we know how to build them, we also have unique capabilities to protect them."


Bechtel also today announced a research arrangement with George Mason University to enable access to the laboratory for Mason students. Such partnerships are critical for universities and for companies said Robert Osgood, director of Mason’s Computer Forensics programme and a former FBI supervisory special agent in cyber-crime and counterterrorism.


He explains that the laboratory will provide research and internship opportunities for students and “open up a potential talent pipeline for Bechtel in a rapidly growing field".


Patrick Fredericks, programme manager for the Strategic Infrastructure Group (SIG) for Bechtel said: "Whether we are talking about control systems or telecommunications infrastructure, there is a real need to develop innovative solutions that address the current world environment.


"The merging of technology in both of these areas requires a new approach that supports global deployment of integrated technology solutions on a large scale, while also addressing the threats that we see now and in the future."


Bechtel’s Nuclear, Security & Environmental global business unit has completed many large, first-of-a-kind projects in highly secure government site management, construction, environmental restoration, defence, space, energy, and national security.


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