Thursday, January 28, 2016

What executives need to know about industrial cybersecurity.


Results of a recent survey by the Pew Research Center predicted that a major industrial cyberattack will occur in the US sometime within the next 10 years that will cause “widespread harm”—defined as significant loss of life or property losses/damage/theft in the tens of billions of dollars.
Despite these types of expert predictions and ongoing calls for improved security, not nearly enough is being done in the US and around the world to implement basic industrial cybersecurity measures, most notably best-practice standards, and reinforce them through proper staff training.

One reason for this is many corporate and industry executives are not fully aware of the real-world risks and dangers associated with industrial cyberattack as well as the critical differences between IT cybersecurity and operational technology (OT) cybersecurity.  

To improve industrial cybersecurity understanding and awareness, the International Society of Automation (ISA) has developed a new white paper, "What Executives Need to Know About Industrial Control Systems Cybersecurity." The white paper was written by Joseph Weiss, PM, CISM, CRISC, a widely recognized industry expert on control system cybersecurity who has advised the US Congress on the growing threat of industrial cyberattack.

Weiss, Managing Partner of Applied Control Solutions, LLC, also serves as Managing Director of the ISA99 standards development committee, which has established the world’s only consensus-based series of industrial cybersecurity standards (ISA/IEC 62443). The ISA99 committee includes a cross-section of international cybersecurity subject-matter experts from industry, government and academia.

“Today’s operational technologies—such as sensors, SCADA systems, software and other controls that drive modern industrial processes—are vulnerable to cyberattack. The risk of serious damage or compromise to power and chemical plants, oil and gas facilities, chemical and water installations and other vital critical infrastructure assets is real,” states Patrick Gouhin, ISA Executive Director and CEO. “This new white paper provides clarity on the fundamental issues and challenges to consider and delivers a cogent rationale for implementing a comprehensive industrial cybersecurity plan.”

 #PAuto @ISA_Interchange

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