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Cybersecurity Framework introduced to Illinois-based companies at IMEC, NIU-hosted seminar

 

Dozens of companies representing business and industry were in attendance to learn about the framework and implementation plans from the White House and NIST

For Immediate Release
April 24, 2014

 

Naperville, Illinois - This past Friday, the Illinois Manufacturing Excellence Center (IMEC) and the Automation Federation presented an introduction to the Cybersecurity Framework at Northern Illinois University in Naperville. Agency and expert representatives from the White House, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), the Automation Federation, ISA and IMEC led a discussion around the critical nature of the Framework and the importance of why the ISA/IEC 62443 standards play a vital role in the protection of Industrial Automation and Control Systems (IACS) across all industry sectors. “I commend IMEC for hosting this important discussion about the growing danger of cyber-attacks against critical assets throughout Illinois,” said Michael Marlowe, Automation Federation Managing Director. “The Automation Federation will continue to work with IMEC to increase the awareness of addressing Cybersecurity through the Framework.”

 

The official rollout of the US Cybersecurity Framework, held in February in Washington DC was the result of a year-long initiative to develop a voluntary how-to guide for American industry and operators of critical infrastructure to strengthen their cyber defenses. This is a key deliverable from the Executive Order on “Improving Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity” that President Obama announced in his 2013 State of the Union address.

 

The International Society of Automation's IACS security standards are among the Framework's recommendations because they're designed to prevent and mitigate potentially devastating cyber damage to industrial plant systems and networks--commonly used in transportation grids, power plants, water treatment facilities, and other vital industrial settings. Without these defenses in place, industrial cyber-attacks can result in plant shutdown, operational and equipment impairment, severe economic and environmental damage, and public endangerment.

 

While the adoption of the framework is voluntary, federal, state and local partners are available to assist companies with implementation efforts and take the first steps towards managing cyber risk. “Comments from those attending our Cybersecurity Seminar were very positive and the information they offered our speakers from the White House, NIST, and the Automation Federation regarding the Cybersecurity Framework was well received,” said David Boulay, IMEC President. “I have already been asked by a number of industry representatives that were unable to attend if IMEC would host another seminar later this year. I am pleased to say that the representatives from the Automation Federation, White House, and NIST have agreed to come back to Illinois for another presentation on the Framework. Plans for organizing this next seminar are underway.”

 

For questions regarding the Cybersecurity Framework or participating agencies, please contact Amy Fitzgerald, IMEC Marketing Manager at 309-677-2977 or afitzgerald@imec.org.

 

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About IMEC

IMEC was established in 1996 with the goal of improving the productivity and competitiveness of Illinois’ small and mid-sized manufacturing firms. A non-profit economic development organization, IMEC is funded in part by the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s Manufacturing Extension Partnership, the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, and through fees paid by Illinois manufacturers for IMEC’s services. IMEC has 11 offices statewide and 40 full-time manufacturing improvement specialists.

 

About the Automation Federation

The Automation Federation is a global umbrella organization of 16 member organizations and six working groups engaged in automation activities. The Automation Federation enables its members to more effectively fulfill their missions, advance the science and engineering of automation technologies and applications, and develop the workforce needed to capitalize on the benefits of automation. The Automation Federation is the “Voice of Automation.” For more information about the Automation Federation, visit www.automationfederation.org.

 

About ISA

Founded in 1945, the International Society of Automation (www.isa.org) is a leading, global, nonprofit organization that is setting the standard for automation by helping over 30,000 worldwide members and other professionals solve difficult problems, while enhancing their leadership and personal career capabilities. Based in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, ISA develops standards; certifies industry professionals; provides education and training; publishes books and technical articles; and hosts conferences and exhibitions for automation professionals. ISA is the founding sponsor of the Automation Federation.