07 January 2003 19:05 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (CNI)--The chemicals industry e-commerce standards group and a US industry cyber-security group announced Tuesday a new business unit to identify "immediate opportunities" to improve chemicals industry data security.
The new unit is being organised by the Chemical Industry Data Exchange (CIDX) and the chemicals sector Cyber-Security Information Sharing Forum (CISF). The new unit, known as the cyber-security practices, standards and technology initiative (PSTI), will operate as part of CIDX, according to a statement today from Arlington, Virginia-based CIDX.
PSTI will focus exclusively on chemical industry cyber-security, CIDX said, and "will be charged with identifying immediate opportunities to improve the base level of cyber-security performance within the industry."
A PSTI organisational meeting will be held 4-5 February in Baltimore, Maryland. Information on the meeting, which a CIDX spokeswoman said is open to "all participants in the global chemicals sector value chain," is available on the CIDX Web site at http://www.cidx.org.
Patricia Simmons, executive director of CIDX, said of the PSTI formation: "Through our preliminary work, we have identified a substantial body of cyber-security practices and standards that already exist. Our focus moving forward will be to establish industry consensus and drive implementation of the mutually agreed standards."
Simmons also said PSTI will "drive a rapid and unified response to the critical issue of cyber-security."
Organised in 1995, CIDX is a global chemicals trade association designed to develop and circulate chemical industry e-commerce standards.
CISF was organised in March 2002 by some 60 US chemicals firms in the wake of the September 2001 terrorist attacks against the US. It was set up to address the security of industry on-line data and computer-automated process controls. In June 2002 CISF circulated an agreed cyber-security strategy to more than 2000 US chemicals manufacturers.
Laura Field, spokeswoman for CIDX, said today's announcement of the PSTI is an outgrowth of the June 2002 CISF strategy distribution and is meant to "assess what currently exists in cyber-security among firms and, going forward, find the best solutions."
Field said that while there is no specific security threat driving formation of PSTI, "there is a definite sense of urgency in terms of the industry coming together to see what solutions can be developed."
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