via infoTECH News
The U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology issued the following news release: The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has issued the final version of its Guide to Industrial Control Systems (ICS) Security (SP 800-82), intended to help pipeline operators, power producers, manufacturers, air traffic control centers and other managers of critical infrastructures to secure their systems while addressing their unique performance, reliability, and safety requirements.
Finalized after three rounds of public review and comment, the guide is directed specifically to federally owned or operated industrial control systems (ICS), including those run by private contractors on behalf of the federal government. Examples include the mail handling operations, air traffic control towers, and some electricity generation and transmission facilities and weather observation systems. However, the guide’s potential audience is far larger and more diverse than the federal government, since about 90 percent of the nation’s critical infrastructure is privately owned.
The guide responds to responsibilities assigned to NIST under the Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA). The law directs NIST to develop information security standards and guidelines for non-national security federal information systems. While these FISMA-related specifications are not mandatory for the private sector or state and local governments, many businesses and other organizations have adopted the NIST-developed standards and guidelines. Drafts of the new document have been downloaded more than 1,000,000 times, and the guide already is referenced in industry-specific security publications.
Industrial control systems include supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) systems, distributed control systems and programmable logic controllers. The scope of facilities and equipment encompassed by these technologies range from broadly dispersed operations, such as natural gas pipelines and water distribution systems, down to individual machines and processes.