Date of Award

January 2016

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Computer and Information Technology

First Advisor

James E Dietz

Committee Member 1

James C Foreman

Committee Member 2

Baijian Yang


This thesis study introduces operational concepts for accelerating necessary cyber security improvements for critical infrastructure industrial control systems. National critical infrastructures’ industrial control systems experienced a 20% annual increase in cyber incidents during fiscal year 2015 (DHS ICS-CERT, 2015). Industrial control systems are used in several critical infrastructure sectors to include energy, transportation, manufacturing, and water utilities. Critical infrastructures support public health and life safety, economic vitality, national defense, and overarching societal well-being. Significant damage or disruptions to a critical infrastructure could result in potentially catastrophic and cascading consequences. For example, a disruptive cyber-attack on a water utility would have life safety and health consequences when fire hydrants fail during a fire, and hospitals’ operations are impaired.