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Representatives of the Automation Federation participated in the fourth in a series of workshops organized by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to develop an initial draft of a national Cybersecurity Framework for the U.S.

The workshop, held at the University of Texas at Dallas and involving leading cybersecurity experts across America and the world, moves NIST one step closer to finalizing the draft and preparing it for official release in October.

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These actions are in keeping with an executive order signed by President Barack Obama earlier this year that calls for a federal framework to help owners and operators of critical infrastructure identify, assess and manage cyber risk.

At NIST’s request, the Automation Federation and its affiliated organization, the International Society of Automation (ISA), have actively participated in all four workshops, serving as advisors to the federal government in the development of the framework.

Since standards are widely viewed as essential to any effective cybersecurity initiative, the Automation Federation and ISA are strongly recommending the inclusion of the ANSI/ISA99, Industrial Automation and Control Systems Security standards in the final draft of the framework.

“The Automation Federation continues to play an important role in the development of the Cybersecurity Framework,” says Leo Staples, the past chair of the Automation Federation who serves as leader of the Automation Federation’s Cybersecurity Framework team. “Both The White House and NIST have noted the invaluable contributions by the Automation Federation throughout these workshops. They continue to rely on our expertise during this process and have asked for our continued support as the framework enters the implementation phase.”