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July 1, 2002
Volume 80, Number 26
CENEAR 80 26 p. 8
ISSN 0009-2347


BUSINESS

INDUSTRY TARGETS CYBERSECURITY
New group seeks to establish standards for information security

A group formed by a broad range of trade associations and chemical companies is launching an effort to improve chemical industry cybersecurity.

8026NOTW.KEPLER
Kepler
The group, the Chemicals Sector Cyber-Security Information Sharing Forum, was formed in March in response to a U.S. government call for better security of all types in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. Soon after its formation, the group commissioned a task force of 16 chemical industry cybersecurity experts to develop a strategy, which was delivered to members on June 17.

David E. Kepler, Dow Chemical's chief information officer and the forum leader, says the strategy won't be made public. However, he discloses that it seeks to establish uniform standards for information and process-control security as well as procedures for verifying mem-ber compliance. The strategy calls for an information sharing network through which forum members can distribute warnings, exchange ideas, and manage security implementation.

Kepler says the forum will generally try to expand upon infrastructure developed by existing chemical industry organizations, such as the Chemtrec hazardous materials emergency communications center and the Chemical Industry Data Exchange, developer of the Chem eStandards for data exchange. He expects some elements of the strategy to be implemented within the next few months.

Twelve trade associations are involved in the forum, including the American Chemistry Council, the Fertilizer Institute, and the Synthetic Organic Chemical Manufacturers Association. Kepler says the cybersecurity forum intersects with ACC's new plant security program. "This is broader than the ACC effort, but we've worked with them to make it complementary," he notes.



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