Thursday 10 April 2014

Automation Group lauded for industry advocacy!

Frost & Sullivan's Manufacturing Leadership Council, a global business leadership network dedicated to senior executives in the manufacturing industry, recently recognised the Automation Federation as one of 100 world-class manufacturing companies in its 2014 Leadership 100 Awards (ML100 Awards) program.

Now in its 10th year, the Manufacturing Leadership Awards Program honors companies and individuals that are shaping the future of global manufacturing. The 2014 ML Awards panel of expert judges concluded that Automation Federation has demonstrated excellence in promoting “Cybersecurity for Operational Technology in Industry Advocacy Leadership,” one of the awards program’s most competitive categories.

The Manufacturing Leadership Council, on its website, refers to cybersecurity as one of the critical issues facing manufacturing: “Both small and large manufacturing enterprises are becoming increasingly technology-enabled, and technology-dependent, in the way they run their businesses. All face rising challenges in understanding and responding to a host of new digital vulnerabilities and national regulations. Such cyber threats may take the form of internal disruption, accidental or deliberate, partner network security breaches, and outright external hacking and attack. Protecting a manufacturing company’s most valuable physical, digital and intellectual assets from cyber disruption is now essential to operational continuity and corporate security in today’s digital business world.”
Throughout 2013, The Automation Federation, the umbrella organisation of the International Society of Automation (ISA), has been a strong and vocal advocate for the use of ISA’s industrial automation and control systems (IACS) cybersecurity standards (ISA/IEC 62443) in better protecting industry and critical infrastructure from cyberattack.

The Automation Federation has played a critical role in the development of the US Cybersecurity Framework, a how-to guide for American industry and operators of critical infrastructure to strengthen their cyber defenses. In fact, ever since US President Obama called for the formation of the framework just over a year ago, representatives of the Automation Federation have been advising the Obama administration—at the White House's request—on the value of ISA’s industrial cybersecurity standards and the importance of incorporating them as core framework guidelines.

The Automation Federation is currently co-sponsoring a series of seminars throughout the US that are designed to better educate manufacturing and industrial leaders about the US Cybersecurity Framework and encourage their assistance in the plan’s implementation.

Cybersecurity experts across the globe regard ISA's IACS security standards as essential safeguards because they focus on proper control system functioning, plant protection and operations, and time-critical systems response. Without these safeguards in place, industrial cyberattack can result in plant shutdown, operational and equipment impairment, significant economic and environmental damage, and public endangerment.

“The Automation Federation is honoured to be recognised for its efforts in raising awareness around the need to better defend America’s critical assets from the serious risks posed by cyberwarfare,” says Michael Marlowe, Automation Federation Managing Director and Government Relations Director. “While no one can prevent industrial cyber attacks, you can significantly reduce your vulnerabilities. That’s why ISA cybersecurity standards are so valuable. They’re proven to mitigate and minimize the consequences.”

All recipients of the ML100 Awards will be honored during an awards ceremony at the 2014 Manufacturing Leadership Summit, which will be held 3-5 June 2014 in Palm Beach, Florida, USA.

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