Process Control Systems Forum celebrates one year anniversary

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FALLS CHURCH, VA, Feb. 28, 2006 -- The Process Control Systems Forum (PCSF), established to improve efficiencies and accelerate the development of best practices crucial to securing control systems worldwide, celebrates the one-year mark since its formation in February 2005. Funded by the Department of Homeland Security/Homeland Security Advanced Research Projects Agency (DHS/HSARPA), the PCSF provides an open, collaborative environment for representatives from industry, academia, standards bodies, vendors and government. The PCSF is a neutral entity managed by a public/private collaborative (interim) Governing Board and facilitated by Mitretek Systems.

"In reviewing the milestones we achieved this past year, the PCSF has put in place all the right building blocks to ensure that we can successfully achieve our long-term goals and objectives moving forward," said Michael Torppey, technical manager, PCSF. "In looking ahead, we realize we have much to do to further the objectives we've set forth and we are fully committed to continuing our work in securing the control systems that manage critical infrastructures that are so vital here and abroad."

In the past year, the PCSF has achieved several noteworthy accomplishments:

• Formational Meeting: In February 2005, the PCSF was first established at its Formational Meeting in which 40 representatives from government, academia and industry came together to discuss the need for a Forum of this type and its value to the community it serves. In addition to establishing an Interim Governing Board, attendees prioritized the top challenges in securing control systems, and established several Interest Groups, including the Congress of Chairs (CoC) Interest Group.

• Successful PCSF 2005 Spring Meeting: Held in Dallas, the Inaugural Spring Meeting attracted over 150 participants, including top experts from users, vendors, standards bodies, academia and government. The event was the first of its kind including cross-sector, cross-industry representation and providing a unique opportunity for collaboration on the design, development, and deployment of more secure control and legacy systems.

• Congress of Chairs Working Group: In August 2005, the CoC Interest Group conducted an international standards coordination meeting, where over 80 representatives from international control system standards bodies gathered to discuss and share critical information on control systems security and the need for standards coordination. In October, this Interest Group transitioned to Working Group status, upon approval of its charter and plan of action by the PCSF Interim Governing Board.

• Creation of the Common Glossary Project: Developed to provide continuity of nomenclature among various industry groups and to facilitate discussion among groups with differing definitions, a comprehensive glossary of common terms and acronyms related to control systems was published by the PCSF CoC and continues to be updated.

• Increased awareness of the Forum and its purpose among all industry groups working on cybersecurity for control systems, including SCADA systems: The PCSF has established itself as an active voice and member in the control systems community through the creation of Working Groups and Interest Groups dedicated to solving hard problems in this arena.

On June 6-7, the PCSF will be hosting its second annual Spring Meeting in La Jolla, CA. Over 250 attendees are slated to attend and the PCSF will host more than 10 working sessions, a keynote address by Paul Dorey of BP, and a special information sharing session featuring luminaries from various countries in Europe, who will be sharing their experiences and examples of how they have successfully implemented secure measures for the control systems in their respective countries. Note to editors: for the first time, PCSF is inviting the press to attend. For more information on the Spring Meeting, please visit: www.pcsforum.org/events/2006/spring.

About Process Control Systems Forum
In February 2005, The Process Control Systems Forum (www.pcsforum.org) was established in response to the growing vulnerability of infrastructure asset control systems in an increasingly computerized, automated, and interdependent operating environment. Funded by the Department of Homeland Security/Homeland Security Advanced Research Projects Agency (DHS/HSARPA) and managed by a public/private collaborative Interim Governing Board (IGB), the PCSF charter is to improve efficiencies and accelerate the development of best practices that are crucial to securing critical infrastructures. The PCSF operates as an open, collaborative, voluntary forum to leverage and unify the experience, capabilities, and contributions of stakeholders through meetings, Interest Groups, and Working Groups. The IGB provides guidance on strategy, management, legal matters, processes and conflict resolution for the PCSF. Forum participants include international stakeholders from government, academia, industry users, owner/operators, and systems integrators and the vendor community. The PCSF is facilitated by Mitretek Systems.

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