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Schneider and Rockwell join ISA in cyber-security drive

29 July, 2019

The International Society of Automation (ISA) has created an alliance to promote cyber-security readiness and awareness in manufacturing, as well as in critical infrastructure facilities and processes. The founding members of the Global Cybersecurity Alliance (GCA) include Schneider Electric, Rockwell Automation, Honeywell, Johnson Controls, Claroty, and Nozomi Networks.

The Alliance will bring together end-users, automation and control systems suppliers, IT infrastructure providers, services providers, system integrators and other cyber-security organisations, to address the growing threats of cyber-attacks. It will use the ANSI/ISA 62443 standards for automation and control system cyber-security to increase awareness and expertise, share knowledge and information, and develop best practice tools to help companies achieve cyber-security protection. The Alliance will work closely with government agencies, regulatory bodies and other relevant organisations around the world.

“Accelerating and expanding globally relevant standards, certification, and education programs will increase workforce competence, and help end-users to identify gaps, reduce risks, and ensure they have the tools and systems they need to protect their facilities and installations,” says ISA executive director, Mary Ramsey. “Through the proliferation of standards and compliance programs, we will strengthen our global cyber-culture and transform the way industry identifies and manages cyber-security threats and vulnerabilities to their operations.”

The Alliance is seeking additional members and is inviting end-users, asset owners, automation and control systems providers, IT infrastructure providers, services providers, system integrators and other organisations are to join. Annual contributions to fund the GCA initiatives will be based on company revenues and will be tax-deductible. “We welcome companies and organisations from all segments of industry to join our efforts,” says Ramsey.

The alliance was initiated after Schneider Electric approached ISA to create an ISA-led global, open and industry-wide alliance including all cyber-security stakeholders. “Global industry has recognised that taking on increasingly dangerous cyber-risks can’t be limited to a single company, segment or region,” explains Schneider Electric’s chief product security officer, Klaus Jaeckle. “However, until now, there has been limited ability to respond as a unified whole to these worldwide threats. By establishing an open, collaborative, and transparent body, with a focus on strengthening people, processes, and technology, we can drive true cultural change.

“We are pleased that ISA has stepped forward, and we look forward to working openly and collaboratively with them, our fellow founding members, and many others affiliated with global industry, especially end-users,” he continues. “Together we will bring to bear the standards-based technology, expertise, and special skills required to better secure and protect the world's most critical operations and the people and communities we serve.”

Rockwell Automation CEO, Blake Moret, adds that “cyber-security is critical to digital transformation. It's critical not only for the protection of information and intellectual property, but also for the protection of physical assets, the environment, and worker safety. Rockwell Automation participated in the development of the 62443 standards from the beginning and continues to support ISA cyber-security initiatives. Our engagement with the Global Cybersecurity Alliance will be another important step in our efforts to help customers identify and mitigate risks.”

ISA developed the ANSI/ISA 62443 cyber-security standards, which have been adopted by the International Electrotechnical Commission as IEC 62443 and endorsed by the United Nations. They define requirements and procedures for implementing electronically secure automation and industrial control systems and security practices and assessing electronic security performance. The standards bridge the gap between operational and information technology.

Companies interested in joining the Alliance should contact Rick Zabel at rzabel@isa.org.




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