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Cybersecurity

The risks of cyberattack are growing and present serious threats to economic and national security.

Large-scale cyberwarfare—through acts of espionage, sabotage, and terrorism—could dismantle national power grids, transportation and telecommunications systems, financial networks, manufacturing, and government functions.

The Automation Federation and its sister organization, the International Society of Automation (ISA), is currently assisting the Obama administration and US federal agency officials in developing a national cybersecurity framework as called for by President Barack Obama in early 2013.

At the request of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), a federal agency within the US Department of Commerce, select representatives of the Automation Federation and ISA have participated in a series of NIST workshops charged with laying the groundwork for the government’s cybersecurity initiative.

In fact, years before the president called for a federal proposal on cybersecurity, the Automation Federation and ISA had been consulting with White House National Security Staff, US federal agency officials, and members of Congress on the critical need to establish national cybersecurity standards, guidelines and compliance testing.

The Automation Federation and ISA are strongly advocating the inclusion of the ANSI/ISA99, Industrial Automation and Control Systems Security standards (also known globally as IEC 62443) within the US government’s cybersecurity framework. Because they apply to all key industry sectors and critical infrastructure, ANSI/ISA99 standards represent a comprehensive approach to cybersecurity.

Putting widespread cybersecurity standards in place is vital since many of America’s industrial production settings and infrastructure environments are woefully under-prepared to address cyberwarfare. If industrial control systems and critical infrastructure—such as a power plant, water treatment facility, or transportation grid—are attacked, the result could be significant equipment impairment, production loss, regulatory violations, environmental damage, and public endangerment.

The development of a national cybersecurity framework is a significant first step in addressing America’s cyber risks, and helping owners and operators of critical infrastructure identify, assess, and manage cyber threats.

The Automation Federation and ISA will continue to take active roles in the creation and refinement of this framework, and additional cybersecurity initiatives. Visit the Automation Federation website for continued updates as new information becomes available. 


Automation Federation members discuss Cybersecurity issues with Senior White House National Security Staff at the White House.

For more information about our CyberSecurity efforts, please contact Mike Marlowe at mmarlowe@automationfederation.org

For more about AF’s government relations programs, visit our Government Relations page.