Saturday, August 27, 2022

100-day Chemical Cybersecurity Sprint

I missed the Chemical Sector Summit this week because of vacation. I have been, however, receiving lots of questions about the reported 100-day cybersecurity sprint for the chemical sector that was discussed at the Summit. Fortunately, CSPAN televised portions of the day-2 presentations including the ‘fireside’ chat’ between Director Easterly and Associate Director for Chemical Security Kelly Murray.

At 15:07 minutes into the video Easterly begins a discussion about the strategic priorities for CISA in the coming year. It was in this section of the talk where she noted:

“We were asked last year by the White House to focus on protection of industrial control systems. I think the chemical sector is next in line that we will kick off the 100-day plan, probably later this year. The other thing I'm excited about is cybersecurity goals that reflect both IT and OT and we will be kicking off with some work on chemical sector goals.”

NOTE: Thanks to CSPAN for providing the written text (from close captioning) to accompany the video on their website.

There is still not much information publicly available on this 100-day sprint, but I have learned that the CFATS folks at CISA are not going to be leading this effort. In some ways, that is a disappointment because of their long work with industry in this field. In a larger sense, however, it is understandable because the CFATS program is targeted at just a portion of the chemical industry. It is a large part (44,000 plus facilities have participated to at least some degree), but it is still just a part of the larger chemical picture.

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