Control vendors eye new security initiative

Vendors of control systems will consider mechanisms to enhance communication with the U.S. government, including the U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT).

Representatives will get together this month in Atlanta prior to the Process Control Systems Forum, a meeting focused on security, says Jeff Hahn of Control System Security Program at the Idaho National Laboratory (INL) of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Among the options to be discussed will be setting up a formal Information Sharing and Analysis Center (ISAC) organization, developing an interest group within an existing ISAC entity, working within the FBI’s InfraGard organization or continuing within the current framework.

Many companies already have been taking part in the Control Systems Cyber Security Vendors Forum, which has conducted monthly teleconferences since the Fall of 2005, he notes, to facilitate collaboration between government and suppliers and to provide an open forum to discuss common issues that affect control system security. Participants in the teleconferences currently include vendors such as ABB, Emerson, GE Energy, Invensys, OSIsoft, Rockwell, Schneider, Siemens and Yokogawa, as well as government groups such as DHS, INL and US-CERT.

“What makes this forum unique is its ability to bring together a group of vendors that are traditionally in a very competitive market and openly share concerns, approaches and requirements,” notes Ernest Rakaczky of Invensys. “I strongly believe through the actions of the forum we have established a trust level among vendors that can only provide a stronger critical infrastructure in its ability to address cyber security concerns.”

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