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Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity Boosted by NEMA and ISA Partnership

The National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) and the International Society of Automation (ISA) announced a memorandum of understanding to promote cybersecurity standards and practices for operation technology (OT) and industrial control systems (ICS), specifically the ISA/IEC 62443 series of standards. OT and ICS enable the functionality of numerous manufacturing processes, especially in the production of critical infrastructure components. This partnership aims to boost policies that references the ISA/IEC 62443 series of standards in the establishment of codes, incentives and mandates for cybersecurity OT/ICS automation and systems. 

NEMA and ISA — both American National Standards Institute (ANSI) accredited standards development organizations — share a commitment to developing and promulgating leading standards and conformance programs that are relied upon by public- and private-sector entities the world over.  

“NEMA and ISA realize the urgent need to promote the ISA/IEC 62443 series of standards,” said Patrick Hughes, Senior Vice President, Technical & Industry Affairs, NEMA. “This MOU will bring greater recognition of and reliance upon these critical OT cybersecurity standards that have been developed by ISA, the leading professional society for automation.”  

Developed by ISA and recognized by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), the series of standards offers practicable guidance and resources to protect critical infrastructure and the supply chain.  

Particular priorities for the team include:  

Raising awareness in US and global legislative, administrative, and regulatory bodies about the important role that ISA/IEC 62443 plays in assuring OT/ICS cybersecurity 

The ISA/IEC 62443 series of standards have recently been: 

Included in the pending New York state legislation, Critical Infrastructure Standards and Procedures (CRISP) Act 

Referenced in the latest edition of NFPA 70® National Electric Code® published by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 

Referenced in the Cybersecurity Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) Cross-Sector Performance Goals (CPG) 

Adopted by Standards Malaysia as a national Malaysian Standard 

Adopted by the Taiwan and Singapore governments into public policy language for securing operational technology 

Adopted by the International Association of Classification Societies (IACS) mandatory Uniform Requirements for securing shipping vessel onboard controls 

“We are excited about this partnership with NEMA, which will allow the reach and awareness of ISA/IEC 62443 that ISA has already achieved to grow even further,” said Andre Ristaino, managing director, global consortia and conformity assessment, at ISA. “NEMA’s commitment to supply chain resilience and expertise in outreach and advocacy makes the organization an excellent partner for ISA.” 

About NEMA 
The National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) represents over 300 electrical equipment and medical imaging manufacturers that make safe, reliable, and efficient products and systems. Together, our industries are responsible for 1.65 million American jobs and contribute more than $200 billion to the U.S. economy. Learn more at www.nema.org.  

About ISA 
The International Society of Automation (ISA) is a non-profit professional association founded in 1945 to create a better world through automation. ISA’s mission is to empower the global automation community through standards and knowledge sharing. ISA develops widely used global standards and conformity assessment programs; certifies professionals; provides education and training; publishes books and technical articles; hosts conferences and exhibits; and provides networking and career development programs for its members and customers around the world. Learn more at www.isa.org

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