The Ultimate Shield to Protect Your Company from Vicious Cyber-Attacks; US Cybersecurity Framework to be Unveiled to North Carolina Business and Industry

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On July 25, federal and state representatives will host a half-day seminar designed to inform manufacturers, utilities, healthcare organizations, and other industries about the benefits of implementing the national Cybersecurity Framework and how Industrial Automation and Control Systems (IACS) security standards are fundamental components.

On Friday, July 25, the new US Cybersecurity Framework will be introduced to the public at an informational seminar titled Protecting Critical Infrastructure: Mitigating the Risk of a Cyber-Attack. The event will be held at the Guilford Technical Community College campus in Jamestown, NC. Representatives from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), the Automation Federation, the International Society of Automation and the NC State University Industrial Extension Service (IES) will discuss how the Framework can form the foundation of an effective cybersecurity plan.

Recently, a federal grand jury indicted five Chinese hackers for cyber-espionage after they allegedly stole trade secrets including design specifications, manufacturing metrics, production line information and other proprietary information from five Pennsylvania manufacturers. Municipal governments, and power and water providers, face similar threats; experts fear that as smart technologies become widely adopted in operating and managing the grid, the infrastructure will become more vulnerable to tampering or sabotage.

Cyber-attacks like these could cause public health and safety hazards as well as monetary damages. In his 2013 State of the Union address, President Barack Obama issued an Executive Order calling for the private owners and operators of critical infrastructure to strengthen cybersecurity in response to these growing threats. To answer the President’s call, NIST developed the US Cybersecurity Framework, a guide that enables organizations – regardless of size, degree of cybersecurity risk, or cybersecurity sophistication – to identify issues and prevent and recover from cyber-attacks.

“Any industry, of any size, which uses automated processes can benefit from a cybersecurity plan,” says Wendy Laing, Director of IES Professional Learning and the Southeastern OSHA Training Institute Education Center. She points out that cybersecurity is also of crucial importance to municipalities relying on automation to manage water and waste water treatment facilities and traffic control systems.

The Jamestown program begins at 8:30 a.m. It will conclude at noon following specific tips and next steps for improving company cybersecurity, provided by IES. The cost is $25 per attendee.

For more information or to register, visit For questions about the event, please contact IES' Wendy Laing at wendy_laing(at)ncsu(dot)edu.

The NC State Industrial Extension Service (IES), in operation since 1955, helps improve, promote and connect industry through experts and tools in workplace safety, process optimization, business growth, innovation, sustainability and quality systems. In the past decade, its efforts have resulted in over $2 billion in economic benefit to the state of North Carolina. Its influence also extends into the healthcare, government and service sectors.

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