Getting to Know Durgesh Kalya .

  1. Beyond cybersecurity, what are some of your passions and hobbies?

Durgesh: While cybersecurity is a demanding field, I find it crucial to maintain a healthy work-life balance. I enjoy spending time with my family and friends, exploring their hobbies, and staying active through martial arts.

  1. What initially sparked your interest in cybersecurity, particularly within the operational technology (OT) field?

Durgesh: I have always been fascinated by the convergence of technology and critical infrastructure. Understanding the unique security challenges of industrial control systems and contributing to their protection became a natural extension of my interest in technology.

  1. In your experience, what are some of the biggest cybersecurity threats facing industrial control systems today?

Durgesh: The increasing connectivity of OT systems exposes them to traditional IT threats alongside specialized vulnerabilities. Nation-state actors, cybercriminals, and insider threats all pose significant risks.

  1. What advice would you give to someone interested in pursuing a career in OT cybersecurity?

Durgesh: Develop a strong foundation in traditional cybersecurity principles. Additionally, learn about industrial control systems, protocols, and specific OT security best practices. Consider participating in capture-the-flag (CTF) competitions focused on OT security.

  1. What motivates you to dedicate so much time and effort to volunteering within organizations like ISA?

Durgesh: I believe in giving back to the community and helping others succeed. Sharing knowledge, fostering collaboration, and contributing to the advancement of the cybersecurity field through volunteering is incredibly rewarding.

  1. Looking back, what has been your most impactful volunteer experience with ISA?

Durgesh: Leading the ALC ICS4ICS Exercise stands out. Guiding participants towards a deeper understanding of ICS security was incredibly fulfilling, especially knowing the impact it could have on their careers and critical infrastructure protection.

  1. What are your hopes for the future of OT cybersecurity?

Durgesh: I hope to see increased collaboration between industry, government, and academia to develop robust standards, share best practices, and create a more secure OT environment.