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NIST Seeks Private-Sector Input at Cybersecurity Framework Workshop

From NIST Tech Beat: June 20, 2013

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Contact: Jennifer Huergo

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has opened registration for its 3rd Cybersecurity Framework Workshop, to be held July 10-12, 2013, in San Diego, Calif.

Geisel Library at UCSD
The 3rd Cybersecurity Framework Workshop will bring together representatives from critical infrastructure industries to develop a framework of standards, guidance and practices companies can use to improve cybersecurity. The meeting will be held at the University of California, San Diego. Shown here, UCSD's Geisel Library
credit: Erik Jepsen/UC San Diego Publications
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Executive Order 13636,* "Improving Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity," gave NIST the responsibility to work with industry to develop a voluntary "framework"—incorporating existing standards, guidelines and best practices—that institutions could use to reduce the risk of cyber attacks. Critical infrastructure includes those industries vital to the nation's economy, security and health such as finance, energy, transportation, food and agriculture and health care.

More than 700 people attended NIST's first two workshops, in Washington, D.C., and Pittsburgh, with more than 2,500 people participating online. The workshops aim to bring together a broad set of participants from critical infrastructure owners and operators, industry associations, standards development organizations, individual companies and government agencies. The goal is to maximize private-sector input in developing the framework. Participants will be expected to actively assist in the framework development process through hands-on participation in breakout sessions.

"We're holding these workshops in different parts of the country, but our focus is on the nation's critical infrastructure," said project leader Adam Sedgewick. "We have received considerable input already, but we look forward to hearing from both new industry representatives and those who are already engaged with the framework development. We will provide a draft outline and describe the approach of the framework, so it is a crucial time for all relevant industries to be involved to help us fill in the gaps and produce a framework that will be effective and widely used on a voluntary basis."

NIST expects the third workshop to result in a more detailed draft of the Cybersecurity Framework and a corresponding list of current standards, guidelines and practices, as well as important gaps. A final workshop is being planned for September 2013, after which NIST will release the official preliminary framework for public comment. According to the executive order, the final framework must be completed in February 2014.

To register to attend the workshop, visit www.nist.gov/itl/csd/3rd-cybersecurity-framework-workshop-july-10-12-2013-san-diego-ca.cfm. The event is being hosted by the University of California, San Diego, and the National Health Information Sharing and Analysis Center.

Attendees should review the outline of the draft framework in advance. It is expected to be available at www.nist.gov/itl/cyberframework.cfm by the end of June; registrants will be notified when the draft is posted. That site includes details on the framework development process such as links to comments received through a Request for Information, transcripts and video from the previous workshops and information on future workshops.

*"Improving Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity" is available at www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2013-02-19/pdf/2013-03915.pdf.